Pikes Peak 2, Mitsubishi 0 ProRally team suffers season's first loss CYPRESS, Calif., June 29 -- The sport of rally racing can be fickle at times and today, that proved true. Team Mitsubishi Motor Sports America, winner of every event in the...
Pikes Peak 2, Mitsubishi 0
ProRally team suffers season's first loss
CYPRESS, Calif., June 29 -- The sport of rally racing can be fickle at times and today, that proved true. Team Mitsubishi Motor Sports America, winner of every event in the SCCA ProRally Championship so far this season, had its first disappointment during today's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, round four of the nine event 2003 SCCA ProRally Championship.
After qualifying second in Open Class and setting fastest time in Friday's practice, team driver David Higgins, reigning 2002 ProRally Champion and current points leader, gave Team Mitsubishi Motor Sports America a strong hope of an outstanding finish.
Higgins looked extremely fast in the early sections of the Race to the Clouds with his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution posting the highest trap speed of any of the SCCA entries at race mid-point. Unfortunately, the car began experiencing transmission problems at midcourse that took them well off the competitive pace. They ascended the mountain slowly, but finished the event.
Pikes Peak's challenge wasn't finished with Team Mitsubishi Motor Sports America. The team's second Open Class driver, Lauchlin O'Sullivan, had an incident on a right hand turn also near midway. The left rear of the car was slightly damaged, but he was able to continue his aggressive pace, pushing towards the summit.
O'Sullivan and co-driver Christian Edstrom were fast through the famous "W"s and looked to be on pace with the other Open Class SCCA ProRally cars, until a cooling problem forced the duo to retire from the race with the summit a mere half mile away.
"Today proves that rally racing has always been, and will continue to be, extremely challenging. Even with the finest equipment, the finest technicians, and a proven race strategy, you are always at the mercy of racing luck, especially at a legendary venue such as Pikes Peak," said Dick Kelley, Motor Sports Manager, Mitsubishi Motors North America. "However, today also reveals what an impressive achievement Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution has accomplished with three consecutive wins this season."
Despite today's temporary setback, Team Mitsubishi Motor Sports America still enjoys substantial lead in the Championship after four rounds.
Team Mitsubishi Motor Sports America looks to regain its momentum and focus on continuing its domination of the season on the fast gravel roads near Portland, Oregon at the Oregon Trails SCCA ProRally on July 12-13, 2003.
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is responsible for all North American operations of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. As a single company consolidated on January 1, 2003, MMNA and its subsidiaries manufacture, distribute, finance, and market Mitsubishi brand coupes, convertibles, sedans and sport utility vehicles through a network of 700 dealers in the United States.
Mitsubishi Motors sold its first vehicle in the U.S. in 1981 and began building cars here in 1988 at its manufacturing facility in Normal, IL.