Mitsubishi Motors appoints Mario Fornaris as new FIA WRC Technical Director.

Amsterdam, December 10 -- Amsterdam - Mario Fornaris will join Mitsubishi Motors' Ralliart Europe team from January 1st, 2003, as head of global engineering. Coming from the current FIA World Rally Champion (FIA WRC) team, he will use his expertise to bring back Mitsubishi Motors to podium level for its scheduled return in 2004.

In line with the recent reorganisation of its motor sports activities and the pause decided for the 2003 FIA WRC season, Mitsubishi Motors announces today the appointment of Mario Fornaris as Technical Director at Ralliart Europe, its FIA WRC team. Effective January 1st, 2003, he will assume full engineering responsibility.

Sven Quandt - new head of Mitsubishi motor sports activities - said: "We are turning around our World Rally Championship organisation like Mitsubishi Motors is turning itself around. With the appointment of Mario Fornaris, we are showing how serious we take our return to the top of the sport. "

Born in Turin (Italy) and a graduate of the Turin Polytechnic, Mario Fornaris will bring ten years of motor sports experience and expertise to Ralliart Europe. With respect to the goal set by the Team of a successful return in 2004, his last assignment with the current World Champion will be of major significance.

Commenting on his appointment, Mario Fornaris said: "It is good to be joining a manufacturer with a deep-rooted engineering and motor sports tradition like Mitsubishi Motors. I also admire their courage at tackling challenges with a radical approach."

Under the umbrella motor sports organisation announced on November 22nd, Ralliart Europe will continue to work closely with Mitsubishi Motors R&D in Japan. However, the driving force for the 2003 development program will shift towards the team led by Mario Fornaris, based in Rugby (United Kingdom).

Born May 8th, 1970 (32)

Graduate from the Turin Polytechnic
Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering
Thesis: " Kinematic and Dynamic of race car suspension design "

Last assignment: Chief Development Engineer on 206 WRC project - Peugeot Sport

Amateur rally driver in national rallies (1990 - 1993)

Hobbies: Tennis, mountain bike.