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from www.worldrallynews.com


Mitsubishi pulls out

December 2, 2002

Mitsubishi has pulled out of the World Rally Championship with immediate effect.

The decision has stunned the team's drivers, who were preparing to begin testing for the Monte Carlo Rally.

However, the Japanese concern has pledged to return in 2004. The withdrawal is to give time to concentrate on producing a more competitive car. After taking four consecutive world titles with Tommi Makinen, the switch to the latest Lancer and World Rally Car regulations has proved a severe disappointment, the team's best result since the WR Car's launch 14 months ago being a fifth place.
 

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http://www.wrc.com/en_GB/News/2002/014/Mitsubishi+in+shock+WRC+pull-out.htm

Mitsubishi has stunned the rally world by canning its 2003 World Rally Championship programme to concentrate on testing in preparation for a comeback in 2004.


Sven Quandt, new head of Mitsubishi's motorsports activities made the decision in conjunction with Andrew Cowan, Chairman of Ralliart Europe. "This decision is necessary as our engineering resources in Japan and Europe are currently in the process of being restructured," said Quandt. "We need some time to return as a top WRC team, just as MMC (Mitsubishi Motors Corporation) needed time to return to profitability and growth over the last 18 months. We aim for a successful return with a competitive car in the near future to the benefit of the Mitsubishi Motors brand."


The Rugby-based Ralliart Europe operation will continue to work flat-out on development and will enter selected rallies in the course of 2003 as part of the programme.


Drivers Francois Delecour, Alister McRae and Jani Paasonen have on-going contracts with Mitsubishi, but may find that they have a new car to develop when they return to the wheel. Mitsubishi is thought to be in the throes of deciding whether to switch from the Lancer to its much smaller Colt as the basis for its next WRC car.

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It will be interesting to see what develops...:eek: :eek:
 

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It has been pretty obvious that they have been conserving money
throughout the year, attempting to build a new car. The silence
was very noticable about the Colt project. Then came talk about deciding which car to run, then pictures of the german car, new
colors, then a pull-out all 1,2,3... Looks like chaos from
this distance.

I would have to read into it that their initial tesing of the
smaller car did not yield the results they felt they needed
to be competitive against the all mighty Peugeot.

They have issues with marketting as well. The WRC car not linked
to thier top market performance sedan is undesirable.

Imagine this, launching new Lancer 8 in US while killing it as
a WRC car worldwide. That would be rather bad marketting, yes?

So what to do to beat Peugeot? Funnel even more money into develop- ment, or wait for them to go away. This delay would seem to solve
all of these problems, or go some way in that direction.

Now, if they just support the lower tiers in the sport we will
promise not to forget about them while they get thier house
in order.

paul timmerman
 

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I wonder how much effect the loss of Marlboro as a sponsor (gone to Peugeot, I think) had to do with this decision. Mitsubishi has historically been one of the lesser funded teams when they didn't have tobacco sponsorship.

Adrian
 

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RE: Colt WRC

I just read an autoweek article about misubishi reoranizing
thier motorsports arm, putting the world-wide HQ in Germany,
and leaving the ralli-art arm in Rugby, underneath the German
shop. This seems to make all this news make sense, big shake up,
new plans, scrap old ones, etc.

pt-
 

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RE: Colt WRC

Don't know Phil, that monstrosity is quite a bit more hideous than the Focus (almost looks bad enough to be from pontiac). Personally, I think the Citroen Xsara is a damn sweet looking car.

Greg,
Crew Chief
1989 GTX #291

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat!!!
 

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RE: Colt WRC

Okay, I will agree with you that the Xsara WRCar is a sexy car, but all those small cars look the same. The 206, the pictures of the Fiesta WRC, the Felicia WRC... they all look like the same car with different body kits on them.
Philip J. Boer
[email protected]
 

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RE: Colt WRC

That is the way that things go. There is an "ideal" package out there for every situation. In car aerodynamics, the most efficint shape is a 3d airfoil shaped teardrop. Why do you think street cars are starting to look the same again? If they want the reduced drag they will sacrifice individuality for the efficient shape (I really wish that pontiac would drop a little individuality too). In world rally a short (even shorter than the rules if you can get a waiver), low, wide car with minimal frontal area, and the best engine tuning can fit in it is ideal. My only question is when will subaru dump the impreza and release the Justy WRC?

Greg,
Crew Chief
1989 GTX #291

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat!!!
 

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RE: Colt WRC

I understand the aero reasons, but I miss the days of interesting looking cars. But then again, in the late 70's almost all the cars looked like escorts, so going to tiny cars with no front ends. I would love to see a Justy WRCar. Mazda could come back with the 323 GTX WRCar, it is about the same size as all the others... hmmmm.... evil thoughts. 2liter, sequential 6 speed gearbox GTX. Need to win the lottery!
Philip J. Boer
[email protected]
 

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RE: Colt WRC

I would love either a Stratos or a 037 but I don't think that I could squeeze into them. Most of the drivers of those cars looked like they were well under 6 feet tall.
Philip J. Boer
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RE: Colt WRC

>

>
>Saw this on BRC Forum
>
>UGLY
>
>Robin

I'll take one yesterday!
 

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