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CC Peterhansel robbed of victory in final Moroccan stage

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News

2005 Orpi Rally of Morocco
FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, round 3

Leg 5: Agadir - Agadir (Liaison 27 kms; Special 218 kms; Liaison 45 kms)

Weather conditions: warm and overcast (rain early morning) - 22-26C

For immediate release
Sunday, May 29th, 2005

MITSUBISHI MOTORS TEAM DRIVER PETERHANSEL
ROBBED OF VICTORY IN FINAL MOROCCO STAGE

Spaniard Joan Roma finishes fourth overall and takes second fastest time;
Steering problems wreck defending champion's quest for Moroccan glory

AGADIR, Morocco - Mitsubishi Motors Repsol ATS Studios Team driver Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret lost a potential victory in the Orpi Rally of Morocco, when they succumbed to a broken steering box within sight of the finish, today (Sunday).

But team mates Joan Roma and Henri Magne set their second consecutive fastest stage time through the final 218 kms special and clinched an excellent fourth place in the overall standings.

Peterhansel had begun the final 218 kms loop stage around Agadir with a 9m 35s advantage over Frenchman Bruno Saby and co-driver Michel Périn. Starting fifth on the road this morning behind his team mates Roma and Magne and a trio of factory Volkswagen Touaregs, the Frenchman was ahead of the field through the first passage control, but damaged the steering box in his Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution in a rocky section of the stage before the second passage control and was forced out of the event.

Today's final 218 kms special stage was a loop to the south of Agadir and started over a selection of sandy tracks. The terrain became more varied, as the course headed through foothills to the deserted village of Sous Ait Ahmed and on through a series of villages to the finish adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean.

Spaniard Roma and Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne started this morning's special stage in sixth place in the overall standings in their MPR10 version of the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution, albeit 47 seconds behind the twice former Dakar winner Jean-Louis Schlesser.

~It was great to win today's stage, but it was not easy,~ said Roma. ~There were several vehicles to close to the stage and one of them was stuck across the track and we had to help move it. Then I just wanted to reach the finish without problems.~

~I must accept that we cannot win all the races,~ said MMSP's Motorsport Director Isao Torii. ~But a real positive for us was to see 'Nani' Roma set the fastest time again today. This shows that the team is on a good strategy in its preparations for the next Dakar.~

~This was a good race, but it is not possible to win every race we take part in,~ said MMSP's Team Director Dominique Serieys. ~Volkswagen has found a good speed this year and the competition is tough. We were leading the rally from the end of the first day, but these things can happen in rallying. 'Nani' Roma has impressed me this week with his speed and I am delighted that he set another fastest time. We are making good progress and will spend the next few months preparing as best we can for Dakar 2006.~

The fourth round of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup will take place in Turkey and northern Iran in August, but the Mitsubishi Motors Repsol ATS Studios Team now switches its attention to a comprehensive two-week test and development session in northern Morocco in mid-June.

The team's contracted drivers will be joined by Frenchman Jean-Pierre Fontenay to develop the new MPR12 version of the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution.

Overall final positions after leg 5 (unofficial @ 12.20 hrs local time):

1. Bruno Saby (F)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Touareg 15h 24m 56s
2. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Tina Thörner (S) Volkswagen Touareg 15h 30m 18s
3. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Touareg 15h 38m 53s
4. Joan Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 15h 41m 57s
5. Jean-Louis Schlesser (F)/Arnaud Debron (F) Schlesser-Ford Buggy 15h 42m 13s

Positions on stage 7: (unofficial @ 12.20 hrs local time)

1. Joan Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2h 43m 54s
2. 2. Jean-Louis Schlesser (F)/Arnaud Debron (F) Schlesser-Ford Buggy 2h 44m 57s
3. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Touareg 2h 49m 34s
4. Bruno Saby (F)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Touareg 2h 54m 04s
5. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Tina Thörner (S) Volkswagen Touareg 2h 56m 29s

2005 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup - Teams' Championship:
1. Volkswagen 41 pts
2. Mitsubishi 37 pts

Ends

Copyright free photographs for editorial media only can be downloaded from www.mmsp-media.com and www.mitsubishi-motors.com

For further information please contact Florian Moser, MMSP’s Communications Department:
MMSP GmbH
Adam-Opel-Str. 4
D 65468 Trebur-Astheim
Florian Moser
Telephone +49 (0) 172 6697 578
Telefax +49 (0) 6147-203 599
E-mail f.moser@mitsubishi-motor-sports.com


Date issued: 29/05/2005

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