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CC Mitsubishi prepares for Dakar 2006 with first Moroccan test

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News

For immediate release
Saturday, July 2nd, 2005

MITSUBISHI MOTORS TEAM PREPARES FOR DAKAR 2006 WITH FIRST GRUELING ENDURANCE TEST IN MOROCCO

Mitsubishi drivers complete 5,600 kms of testing in northern Morocco

PONT-DE-VAUX, France - The Mitsubishi Motors Repsol ATS Studios Team has just completed a gruelling two-week test session near Erfoud and El-Rachidia in northern Morocco.

Team drivers Stéphane Peterhansel, Hiroshi Masuoka, Luc Alphand and Joan 'Nani' Roma were joined by Frenchman Jean-Pierre Fontenay to carry out around 5,600 kms of endurance testing with the new Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 4.

This is the revised MPR12 version of the all-conquering car, which the Japanese manufacturer hopes will propel it to a record-breaking sixth successive Dakar Rally triumph in January 2006. It will make its full competition debut in the autumn.

Frenchman Peterhansel - the winner of the Dakar Rally for the last two seasons - was joined during the first week of testing and development by Spaniard Roma, who finished sixth overall on his Dakar debut in the Mitsubishi Motors Team in January this year. Contracted French test driver Fontenay was also present.

Frenchman Alphand and the Japanese twice former Dakar winner Hiroshi Masuoka took over testing and development responsibilities for the second week, as the Pont-de-Vaux-based team elected to miss last week's Masters Rally in Turkey to continue the endurance development of the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution.

~You can never afford to stand still in this sport and rest on your laurels,~ said MMSP's Team Director Dominique Serieys. ~We carried out a very informative and useful endurance test in Morocco equivalent in distance terms to a Dakar Rally. Preparing as best we can for this event is the main aim. There will be two Marathon sections in January and we know how difficult they may be, so we need to be ready.

~We also have to be prepared for a possible change of regulations in the future and keep our options open. It was a useful test, where the temperature in the shade was as high as 43 degrees Centigrade. We had a team of 24 in Morocco, with a helicopter and a medical team in place.

~All our drivers had a lot of time behind the wheel and 'Nani' Roma was able to drive Stéphane's MPR11 version for the first time for about 1,000 kms. He appreciated the difference in terms of stability and handling compared to the MPR10 he used in the Dakar and in Morocco. The test was a natural follow on from the shakedown we carried out with the new Evolution 4 in the south of France in June.~

The Mitsubishi Motors Repsol ATS Studios Team will now spend several weeks working on the specification, suspension geometry and general revisions to the new Evolution 4 from its French base near Lyon, before returning to northern Morocco in early September to complete a second comprehensive endurance test.

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: 02/07/2005

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