Canberra success gives Mitsubishi maximum points in Australian Manufacturers' Championship. Mitsubishi came away from the Rally of Canberra with maximum points towards the Australian Manufacturers' Championship and rival Subaru none. Mitsubishi...
Canberra success gives Mitsubishi maximum points in Australian Manufacturers' Championship.
Mitsubishi came away from the Rally of Canberra with maximum points towards the Australian Manufacturers' Championship and rival Subaru none. Mitsubishi Lancers finished first, second and third in the three-day international event, the opening round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.
Ed Ordynski and Iain Stewart took a commanding victory in the Ralliart Australia-prepared Evolution VII Lancer - their second triumph this year, after also winning Sydney's new Harbour City Rally in March. Scott Pedder and Paul Humm finished second, 4 minutes 20.2 seconds behind, in their factory-supported Evolution VI Lancer.
Double points were awarded in the Australian Manufacturers' Championship and the results gave Mitsubishi the maximum 72 points for the event.
None of the three Subaru Imprezas nominated for points - driven by Possum Bourne, Cody Crocker and Dean Herridge - finished the rally.
The other Mitsubishi nominated - the second Ralliart entry, the Evo VI of Spencer Lowndes and Chris Randell - hit a tree early on the final morning while running third, but its retirement was completely offset in championship terms by Pedder and Humm's second place.
Mitsubishi now has 200 points for the season to Subaru's 108. No points were awarded towards the Australian Drivers' Championship in Canberra.
Ordynski and Stewart were "very relieved" to have survived the taxing event and praised the Evo VII's stamina.
"We were worried about the punishment it was taking but it was very strong all the way," Ordynski said. "It was a very tight contest until the final day, in very slippery, dusty and tricky conditions, and we just feel fortunate to have got through and won. It's obviously a great result for Mitsubishi in terms of the manufacturers' championship."
It was Ordynski's second victory in the Rally of Canberra - his first was in 1993 in a Mitsubishi Galant VR4. Co-driver Stewart also had won in Canberra before, partnering Murray Coote in 1988.
Pedder, who survived hitting a kangaroo on the final morning with just superficial front damage to the Evo VI, said the rally was his best "by a country mile".
"It's been fantastic for us, especially as we had no thoughts on the first day that we would end up in this position," Pedder said. "We were eighth on day one and didn't think we would make the top five, but this has been by far our best event."
New Zealander Geoff Argyle was third in the rally in a Group A Evo VI as Mitsubishis filled eight of the top 10 positions. Italian Nico Caldarola was the highest finisher from outside Australasia in fifth place, 7 minutes 32.5 seconds behind the victorious Lancer in another Evo VII flown out to Canberra by the Top Run team.