Mitsubishi Motors will modify its 2004 FIA World Rally Championship activities, switching focus to spending more time further developing the Lancer World Rally Car in preparation for the 2005 FIA World Rally Championship. As a consequence, ...
Mitsubishi Motors will modify its 2004 FIA World Rally Championship activities, switching focus to spending more time further developing the Lancer World Rally Car in preparation for the 2005 FIA World Rally Championship.
As a consequence, Mitsubishi Motors will reduce its FIA World Rally Championship activities after August's Rallye Deutschland and will not contest the Championship from Rally Japan (September 2-5) through to Rally Australia (November 11-14). The focus for the remainder of the season will be to develop the Lancer WRC. Mitsubishi Motors will use one or two selected European rallies as an intensive test and development platform for the Lancer WRC. The new WRC-Program for 2004 will not affect Mitsubishi Motors long-term program to the FIA World Rally Championship until 2006.
Sven Quandt, President of MMSP GmbH, Mitsubishi Motors' motor sport company, said: "We started this Season with a three years plan. The first year with the new car back in the World Rally Championship was mainly focused to develop our new Lancer WRC. To pull out from the whole Championship for the rest of the season gives us the possibility to further develop our car with all the experience we have gained since the Monte Carlo Rally this year, where we finished on 6th place."
"Our commitment to motorsport will continue. Rallying is central to our brand philosophy and we will continue to use the motor sport to technically develop our production cars. But we have to consider how best to optimize our resources and find our way back to the enormous success we have had in previous years. This is not easy with such an intense world rally program, so the only way to find time for this is to temporarily reduce our program," said Akira Kijima, Managing Director and Head of Products Operations, Mitsubishi Motors.
Mitsubishi Motors' preparation for the 2005 FIA World Rally Championship will continue as usual. Mitsubishi Motors has been on the international Rally Scene since 1967. It won the WRC series in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 with Tommi Makinen, as well as the Manufacturers' title in 1998.