Mitsubishi WRC Team Heads into New Territory Tokyo, June 22, 2004 -- The Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports WRC team heads into completely new territory next week when it contests the Rally of Turkey (June 24-27). Only introduced to the series...
Mitsubishi WRC Team Heads into New Territory
Tokyo, June 22, 2004 -- The Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports WRC team heads into completely new territory next week when it contests the Rally of Turkey (June 24-27). Only introduced to the series last year, during the time when Mitsubishi was restructuring its motor sport operation, this eastern Mediterranean gravel rally will pose a fresh and exciting challenge for registered crews Gilles Panizzi/Herve Panizzi and "Gigi" Galli/Guido D'Amore.
"This will be another very hot and rocky event where we start as we did in Greece; humble and concentrating on our own rally, commented the team's Technical Director Mario Fornaris. "We are gaining experience all the time and Turkey will be another chapter in our book. How different this event will be, we will have to wait and see."
Gilles and Herve Panizzi do, however, have experience in this Turkish event, as the French pair contested the rally last year and finished a fine fifth overall. "It's a rally I like and the conditions are maybe something between Cyprus and Greece," commented Gilles. "It is the third rough gravel event and it will be difficult for us again with the suspension, but the nature of the stages is nice and we have a small evolution for the set-up. Last year it was run in the very early part of the season and although the region had had bad weather, during the event itself it was very nice. But this year I think we will see temperatures being maybe 20 to 25 degrees more and for sure this will make it very difficult.
"My strategy will be very similar to Greece though; I try to push when I can but look after the car and see what happens around us," added Gilles. "In Greece I think it was possible to compete for the fifth position so my plan is to drive at the same level and try to do the maximum for myself and the team."
Team-mates Gigi Galli and Guido D'Amore last competed in the Lancer WRC04 in Mexico and the Italian pair remains focused on gaining experience and helping the team with the future development of the car.
"My goal is to make the kilometers to improve our performance and give the team more information for the development and preparation for next year; this is important," commented Gigi.
The start of the Rally of Turkey takes place on Thursday June 24 in Cumhuriyet Square, Antalya, and is immediately followed by the first run through the Efes Pilsen super special stage, a newly-built dual-lane track in Akdeniz University. All three days of action are based around the service area in Kemer, 60 kilometers south of Antalya, and Friday's route takes the crews over a total of six stages, five of which are in the mountains to the west. Including the final super special stage, leg one takes in seven stages and 151.83 competitive kilometers. Leg two includes six stages, two of which are run twice, and the 153.60 kilometers of competitive distance makes it the longest day of the rally. The final leg, on Sunday, takes in two loops of two stages covering 77.90 competitive kilometers before the finish at 14:31 hrs (GMT+3). In total, the 2004 Rally of Turkey covers 17 special stages and 383.33 competitive kilometers in a total distance of 1,236.44 kilometers.