CC Mitsubishi set to complete final Dakar Rally test in UAE
Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News
UAE Desert Challenge, United Arab Emirates, November 7th-14th, 2005
FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup, final round
For immediate release
Sunday, October 30th, 2005
MITSUBISHI MOTORS REPSOL TEAM SET TO COMPLETE FINAL DAKAR RALLY TEST IN UAE DESERT CHALLENGE
Frenchman Peterhansel bids for third UAE Desert Challenge win in four years;
Spaniard Roma set to tackle UAE event for first time with Mitsubishi team
PONT-DE-VAUX, France - Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret will be bidding for their third victory in four years in the UAE Desert Challenge, when they line up with Spanish team mate Joan 'Nani' Roma and his Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne at the official start of the final round of the FIA Cross-Country Rallly World Cup on Thursday, November 10th
Both crews will use a pair of Mitsubishi Motors Repsol Team-run MPR11 versions of the Pajero/Montero Evolution, as the Pont-de-Vaux-based team carries out its final competitive test session before the start of the 2006 Dakar Rally in Lisbon.
Peterhansel and Cottret won the Desert Challenge in 2002 and 2003 and their team mates Hiroshi Masuoka and Andreas Schultz won the event last season, as the Japanese manufacturer completed an historic hat-trick on one of the most difficult rounds of the FIA World Cup across the remote sand dunes, gatch roads and tracks of the UAE's Empty Quarter.
~I always enjoy coming to this rally and think that the type of terrain we will face in the Empty Quarter is a great test for what we are sure to face in Mauritania on the Dakar Rally,~ said Peterhansel, winner of the Dakar Rally for the last two seasons.
~My first drive for the Mitsubishi team was in Qatar last November and I finished second overall,~ added team mate Roma. ~Since then I have settled into the team well and am looking forward to gaining a little more experience in the Pajero before the Dakar.~
~Hiroshi and Luc (Alphand) had the chance to get some last minute training in the recent Baja in Portugal and the Dubai Rally will be a great opportunity for Stéphane and Nani to do the same,~ said MMSP's Team Director Dominique Serieys. ~The stages in the UAE can be very difficult, particularly if the temperatures are high and the sand can be very soft.~
The grueling Gulf event joined the FIA World Cup for the first time in 1993 and has been extended from five to six days this year. Pre-event documentation and scrutineering will take place on November 7th and 8th in Dubai. The event gets underway with a timed Prologue stage, near Dubai, on Wednesday, November 9th and the official start in the emirate of Abu Dhabi the following morning.
From the Abu Dhabi start, the event heads south for the first of five competitive selective sections in the desert, each of around 300-400 kms in length, culminating in night halts at the remote bivouac in Mureeb, south of Liwa, in the Abu Dhabi emirate.
These stages will loop in and out of the remote Rub Al Khali region or Empty Quarter, the largest desert region on the Gulf peninsula. The event is scheduled to finish at the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), 30 kms south of Dubai, on Monday, November 14th.
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