2008 FIA CROSS-COUNTRY RALLY WORLD CUP (Round2)
RALI TRANSIBERICO (MAY 20-25, 2008)
Sunday May 25, 2008
(interim report after SS8)
DIESEL POWER RULES AS ROMA AND PETERHANSEL CLAIM FIRST AND SECOND FOR MITSUBISHI ON SS8, WHILE ALPHAND CONTROLS FROM IN FRONT
Competitors faced more rain on the 83km run-out from the overnight stop in Evora this morning. However, the poor weather had made way for clear blue skies by the time they lined up for the start of the first of today’s two visits to the 165.08km stage near Beja (170km southeast of Lisbon). The 2008 Rali Transiberico is scheduled to finish at 5.45pm in Estoril.
Juan ‘Nani’ Roma/Lucas Cruz (Spain) made up for Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart’s disappointment on Saturday by securing the new diesel-engined Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR14’s second stage win in Portugal. The Spaniards were followed home by team-mates Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cotteret (France), while Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (France) found a quick but comfortable pace that has left him with a lead of more than 35 minutes going into the final test.
Following more heavy rain overnight, crews feared further difficult conditions, so they were pleasantly surprised to find that the ground turned out to be much drier than expected.
Nani Roma (Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR14 No.4):
Position on SS8: 1st
Overall position after SS8: 21st
“I was obviously very disappointed when we lost the lead yesterday afternoon, but it’s the sort of thing you’ve just got to put behind you and move on. It was especially frustrating for everyone in the team and all the people from Mitsubishi who have worked so hard to make the new diesel V6 as competitive as it already is today. Our problem was nothing to do with the engine and, in any case, we are here to learn. Indeed, our job continues today and it was nice to claim the new car’s second fastest time on the Rali Transiberico. It shows that it has plenty of potential.”
Stéphane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR13 No.1)
Position on SS8: 2nd
Overall position after SS8: 5th
“We were expecting another slippery stage this morning after all the rain that fell last night, but the conditions were much better than anticipated. We are evaluating a change to the suspension today, so we tried to push a bit. After about 60km, we caught Luc who we briefly passed, but we let him overtake us again so that we could follow him… just in case he had a problem. It is important for Mitsubishi to win this event.”
Luc Alphand (Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR13 No.3)
Position on SS8: 4th
Overall position after SS8: 1st
“I tried to stay focused on my driving, keeping it as smooth as possible. There was still some mud and standing water on the stage. However, apart from perhaps 10km that were very, very slippery, it was drier than we had imagined. There were no major hazards, either, so it was possible to enjoy what turned out to be a nice, flowing stage. This close to the finish, the main thing was to take care of the car and not stray off the line and risk picking up a puncture.”