CC Mitsubishi sends two cars to Baja Portalegre
19th Baja Anta Da Sera 500, Portalegre, Portugal
FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 4 of 5
MITSUBISHI MOTORS REPSOL TEAM
ENTERS TWO CARS IN BAJA PORTALEGRE
Japan's Hiroshi Masuoka and Frenchman Luc Alphand head to Portugal;
Final pre-Dakar competitive drive for Mitsubishi Motors Team duo
Pont-de-Vaux (France) - The Mitsubishi Motors Repsol Team has entered two Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolutions in the 19th Baja Anta Da Serra 500-Portalegre, the penultimate round of the FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas. The Portalegre-based event starts on Friday, October 21st.
The French duo of Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard will be joined by Hiroshi Masuoka, the Japanese driver renewing his successful partnership with French co-driver Pascal Maimon with whom he won the Dakar Rally in 2002.
Both teams will use MPR11 versions of the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution, as technicians and engineers at the team's headquarters in Pont-de-Vaux continue to develop a new MPR12 version for its debut in the 2006 Dakar Rally.
~There will be no pressure on our drivers in this race,~ said MMSP's Team Director Dominique Serieys.~Both Luc and Hiroshi can go out there, relax and enjoy the race. It is their last competitive test before the Dakar Rally, so they need to make sure they learn as much as possible. It is an important training exercise for them.~
~After the second test we carried out in Morocco, I am feeling very confident for this race in Portugal,~ said Alphand, a former winner of the Baja races in Spain and Germany and the winner of this year's Rally of Tunisia with the Mitsubishi Motors Repsol Team. ~Four of us drove around 2,000 kms behind the wheel of the new car in Morocco recently and there were no reliability problems at all.~
Mitsubishi has an impressive track record on the Baja Anta Da Serra 500, which, like the Baja Vodafone Portugal earlier in the year, is organised by the Lisbon-based Clube Aventura.
Mitsubishi privateers have won the event five times, with Portugal's Miguel Barbosa taking outright victories in 2002 and 2003. Last season Portugal's Carlos Sousa and co-driver Henri Magne clinched the FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas title by finishing second overall in a factory-supported Mitsubishi L200 Pick-Up.
Scrutineering and documentation for this year's event take place at the Nerpor Central Pavilion in Portalegre on Thursday, October 20th, before the opening timed super special stage gets underway on Friday, October 21st at 12.30 hrs.
The bulk of the competitive distance is scheduled for the second leg on Saturday, October 23rd, when the Mitsubishi Motors Repsol Team will tackle two different selective sections, each around 200 kms in length, starting at 08.30 hrs and 12.30 hrs respectively and finishing in Campo da Feira.
Sunday's shorter third leg consists of one selective section and a podium ceremony brings events to a conclusion.