CC Joan Roma confirms first win for Mitsubishi Motors Repsol Team in Spain
Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News
12th Baja Spain Aragon 2005
FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 3
Leg 2: Liaison 6.97 kms, Special 118.67 kms, Liaison 1.00 km, Total 126.64 kms.
Weather conditions: warm and sunny - 26-30C
For immediate release
Sunday, July 24th, 2005
JOAN ROMA TAKES VICTORY IN BAJA SPAIN ARAGON
FOR MITSUBISHI MOTORS REPSOL TEAM
Spanish driver Roma confirms his first win for Mitsubishi Motors Team;
French duo of Peterhansel and Cottret complete Mitsubishi one-two
ZARAGOZA, Spain - The Mitsubishi Motors Repsol Team confirmed first and second positions in the 12th Baja Spain Aragon after the third and final 118.67 kms special stage of the third round of the FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, north-west of Zaragoza, today (Sunday).
Joan 'Nani' Roma joined the Mitsubishi Motors Team at the end of last year, after a successful career as an enduro, rider which saw him take one outright win on the Dakar Rally and four victories in the Baja Spain Aragon.
After beginning today's final section 2m 36s ahead of team mates Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret, Roma and Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne managed to fend off Peterhansel's late challenge to take their first victory together in a car and the first in the Spaniard's short automotive racing career.
~I was sure it was difficult to overtake today,~ said Roma. ~I knew that Stéphane would push hard, but I could see him in the distance and tried to drive quickly without making mistakes. It is a fantastic feeling to win my first race in a car here in Spain. I did not dream that my first win would come just nine months after joining the team. But this is a fantastic team and we all work very well together.~
Peterhansel and Cottret have won the Dakar Rally for the last two years, but lost their chance of victory with persistent brake problems on Saturday and eventually finished second overall in their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution.
Stéphane attempted to catch Roma this morning and had reduced the leader's advantage to 1m 20s at the 75.40 kms point. But there was no way through the choking dust trailing the leading car and the Frenchman eventually finished 1m 10s behind his team mate.
~It is disappointing to lose any race, but if you are going to lose it is nice to lose to Nani,~ said Peterhansel. ~He is a fantastic guy and he drove a good race. I tried to push hard, but after 50 kms we caught his dust and it was impossible to gain any more time. The brakes were okay today. I enjoyed the stage and in the end we decided to stay around 30 seconds behind Nani's car to the finish line.~
French team mates Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard had begun Saturday's opening special stage in second position on the road behind Peterhansel and Cottret, but Alphand inverted his Mitsubishi 94 kms into the stage on a tight hairpin left. It was an uncharacteristic mistake by the Dakar Rally runner-up and cost this year's Tunisia Rally winners their place in the rally.
~Now we have four potential winners of the Dakar Rally,~ said MMSP's President Isao Torii. ~Congratulations to the team this weekend. They all did a great job. We have showed here that we are making good progress. We are confident of achieving our goal of winning the Dakar again in January.~
~This victory is linked to the longer term objective of preparing to win the Dakar Rally again next year,~ said MMSP's Team Director Dominique Serieys ~Nani drove a great race and it is pleasing for him to win here in his home country and the home of our sponsor Repsol. We have learned many things from being here. We had some rear brake problems on Saturday and will gain experience from these.~
1.Joan 'Nani' Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 7h 44m 08s
2.Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 7h 45m 18s
3.Marc Blasquez (E)/Ignacio Salvador (E) Nissan Pick-Up 7h 51m 31s
4.Joao Romas (P)/Victor Jesus (P) Toyota RAV-4 8h 13m 31s
5.Luis Costa (P)/Carlos Costa (P) Toyota Landcruiser 8h 14m 59s
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For further information please contact Florian Moser, MMSP’s Communications Department:
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