Mitsubishi Motors Successfully Back in World Rally Championship - Panizzi takes three points in Lancer WRC04 at Rallye Monte-Carlo - Tokyo, January 26, 2004 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and MMSP, the holding company for MMC's worldwide...
Mitsubishi Motors Successfully Back in World Rally Championship
- Panizzi takes three points in Lancer WRC04 at Rallye Monte-Carlo -
Tokyo, January 26, 2004 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and MMSP, the holding company for MMC's worldwide motor sport activities, contested the opening round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) last weekend and scored points in their debut outing after a year's sabbatical for the series. The tiny Principality of Monaco hosted Rallye Monte-Carlo and 38-year-old Gilles Panizzi claimed sixth overall in the first event for the new Lancer WRC04. Three points in both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championships was a fitting reward for the whole team.
Rolf Eckrodt, CEO and President of MMC, said: "After a year away from the series we are very happy to get points in our first event. We have a passion for motor sport and a history of high performance and teamwork and we are delighted to be back in the World Rally Championship, the pinnacle of motor sport besides Formula One. Our results are borne from our strong challenging spirit. Mitsubishi Motors will continue to pass the technical knowledge it gains through racing competition to our customers who drive our products."
Adding to his comments, Sven Quandt, MMSP's Head of Motorsport, said: "To have scored points like this, when the car is still so new and we also have new drivers, is quite exceptional; we are delighted with the team success in our first event back in the World Rally Championship. Two weekends ago we won the Dakar Rally and last weekend we made a successful return to the WRC. Points have been a great bonus at the start of this challenging year. These results demonstrate Mitsubishi's commitment to motor sport."
"I am very happy," added Gilles. "We did not make a lot of testing and of course we are all completely surprised we have not had more problems the first time the car has run in these conditions. To finish and score points is very good. I am confident with the team and the car, and this is the start of a new chapter in my motor sport career; I have found a good team."
With the introduction of the Japan Rally in the 2004 series, MMC is also focused on its home event and will be looking to set an electrifying pace on the north island's gravel stages in September.