Special Stage Forums banner

What's with Mitsubishi?

3779 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Bjorn240
I just have a few questions. First of all, if Mitsubishi is supposed to be Rhys' sponsor then why is his car always breaking? Is he receiving parts that are returned and he's getting the leftovers (if they are helping with parts at all) or is he having to put up everything himself. Why is he having to do all the work himself and finishing at the last second? I know for Rim this year the engine in the NEW EVO VII was not put into the car until late Thursday night, the night before the Rally was to begin. Rhys was also very late showing up to Rim D/T last minute adjustments (which has been happening a lot lately). Rhys ended up driving his old EVO 6.5 because he was afraid the NEW EVO VII would not make it to the finish. Boy was he right, Dad didn't even get through SS1 without the right front suspension falling off. Rhys didn't even finish the Rally again D/T front differential. Have you noticed anything? He seems to DNF because of parts not running off the road. I think Rhys is a talented driver and if Mitsubishi would back their driver like Subaru backs their drivers than maybe he would be more competative.
Just my feelings..... And you???
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
I don't think Mitsubishi is a sponser, rather more a supporter of Rhys. The market isn't great enough in the US for a full support in our championship.
But don't quote me on this, just my opinion.
Whiplash RallyeSport
Not that I wholeheartedly disagree with you, but Rhys' DNF at Sno-Drift was directly related to his sliding off the road and taking a looooooooooooooooooooooong time to get back on.

I'm still waiting to see the real Rhys. I think we got a taste last year at LSPR (tied dead-even with Lovell going into the final stage), but other than that it does seem to be one DNF after another.

As poor as the cars have held up for him, though, he does have the prettiest cars in the series!

Mitsubishi provides the sponsorship money, but car construction and maintenance is done by Rhys Millen Racing. The problem -- and this is strictly my opinion -- is that RMR does not have as much experience as Libra Racing, Prodrive nor AV Sport.

Management at MMSA was reluctant to sponsor a car at all, so the backing for RMR was hard fought.


SnoDrift - slid off the road and could not get back on, even with attempts at help from other teams.

Cherokee - very competitive (top 3) until SS6 when the engine lost a cylinder. Finished 7th OA.

Oregon - Finished 2nd OA.

Rim - Lost several minutes due to flat tire on Friday. DNF due to drivetrain failure on SS8 (Del Sur South), a common problem on that stage.

He's doing better than Paul Choiniere so far this season (4 DNFs). He hasn't crashed like David Higgins (SnoDrift), Mark Lovell (Rim) or Mark Higgins (Cherokee), but he is not quite as quick as they are either.
See less See more
I just want to add TAD to Tim's list above -- they have proven time and again they can build Championship Series Winning cars.

If Mitsubishi really wanted to play the game, in my opinion, they would have TAD prepare the cars and Ryhs and another capable driver, drive them.

While Millen Motorsports is a respectatble name, Ryhs is not Rod. In the end I am disappointed the proven leader in Mitsubishi prep didn't get the deal (it seems at some point Ryhs would be best off hiring TAD to do the prep so he can concentrate on promotion and driving.)

It seems Mitsubishi is not sponsoring any team at even a well funded privateer level so the results are reflective.

I am not biased to any of the teams this year, but I look forward to 3-4 evenly funded 2+ car teams battling for wins.

Those are all good points, but there are some of the other Global issues that might have contributed to all of this.

Daimler Chrysler purchased Mitsubishi last year and the World Rally Program only passed the new Presidents budget weeks after the Monte Carlo event. I am sure that all of the regional divisions were looking to the World programs to see what course to follow. But by then it was to late as Sno-drift was over.

The folks at Mitsu Motor Sales of America (MMSA) don't really have a lot of experience with US Rally, or the teams and organizers involved with it. So I am sure that their past history with Rhys and their comfort in working with him had some to do with their immediate decisions.

Mitsu products historically have not sold that well in the US, and their reserves for cash for independent sponsorships have to be low. What is the percentage here again, only 4-6% of all vehicles sold in the US are mitsu?

Internally, the folks at MMSA have to be concerned, as I would be if another company purchases mine. You are now a redundant employee, and it takes a year or so for everyone's roles and responsibilities to be sorted out. Bold moves such as spending millions of dollars on sponsorship would draw a lot of attention to you, something that is not a great idea in a down sizing company.

Given all of this, Mitsu has done pretty well for themselves. But I am really looking forward to what _could happen_ if Mitsu does bring the Evo over. Additional revenue for the company, the possibility of Ralliart's direct involvement much like Prodrive has done with the Subaru. etc...

Jeff Burmeister
See less See more
What's with Mitsubishi? Do you think you know?

Rhys has done a good job so far in his first year for Mitsubishi. Some seem to forget his Pikes Peak and Ramada Express Rally wins last year and his second at Rim. It takes time to build a team and develop your vehicle. Look at the problems Choiniere and Lovell have had this year. The smart money, and management, understands that development takes time. Look how many losing seasons it can take to develop a great NFL quarterback.

I'm glad to see a West coast factory-supported team. It is important to remember that there at two sides to the fine country and both are important to the growth of the sport.

It is naive to think you know the manufacture?s business better than they do. Their interests go much deeper than who?s won rallys in the past or who builds good cars. They?re interested in the whole package. Rhys Millen has, far and away, the best overall presentation and presence for a public relations package. He still has lots to learn but he?s done his homework and invested his time and efforts wisely. AV Sports is the next team to watch. They?ve also put in the effort and assembled their package. Set back and watch what happens for them.

Ray Hocker
See less See more
RE: What's with Mitsubishi? Do you think you know?

Actually, there are three sides to the Country:+ - Prodrive is in the middle now. Hyundai- the cars are built on the east coast but the money comes from the west coast- TAD is in the middle, too. AV is in the south west, so I don't think there is any dominant part of the country.
I Give Rhys an A++ for presentation. I can't begin to say that I know what is going on behind the scenes at their shop, but the Evo has had plenty of development time and has proven itself all over the world, so it seems the bugs should have been worked out. The same can be said for the Subaru. I am impressed with the Hyundai, that car is a completely new car with no development time. So the results so far are rather impressive, even with the trouble they have experienced.
I didn't get paid to say that, well maybe a little}>
RE: What's with Mitsubishi? Do you think you know?

Well Mitsubishi supposedly wanted TAD to do service but im sure they wouldnt give up all thier paying customers to support two cars and if you think about how lonh have oyu heard of RMR. I suppose they are a bunch unexpierenced people who think they know EVO's but cant help a decent driver compete.
RE: What's with Mitsubishi? Do you think you know?

I agree with Ray Hocker, and all of you have good points. Maybe I ASSUMED Mitsu was backing Rhys more than they really were. I and a couple friends (Chris and Keith) were really concerned last year at Ramada Express when Rhys didn't even have snow tires to put on his car. I did talk to someone on his team and his response was "Talk to Mitsu." I also agree with Tim, Rhys has had some good finishes but you have to admit his car breaks a lot. (i.e. Prescott last year), Not 200 yards off SS1 and his drive shaft breaks. I know cause I was standing there when it broke. He was ready because he had a brand new engine. Maybe he needs to spend more time and money on the smaller and more importnat parts like the suspension and drive train.
Jeff made a good point as well with Mitsu's standing and cost effective backing. But Jeff you have to admit Subaru has never sold so many WRX's since Rally has exploded on the scene. Maybe Mitsu should think of that as a Ploy to boost sales in the US. Lastley, I have to agree with Morgan. TAD, & AV Sports have also done quite well and build fantastic cars as well as the drivers and co-drivers. Hyundai I feel spends a lot more money on their team as does Subaru. Some of these other teams TAD & AV Sports do not have the money as the other big teams. Again just my opinion. Thanks for the responses and feedback.
See you in Maine and MAYBE Pikes Peak.
Todd M. Bloomer :)
See less See more
RE: What's with Mitsubishi? Do you think you know?

>I and a couple friends (Chris and Keith) were really
>concerned last year at Ramada Express when Rhys didn't even
>have snow tires to put on his car. I did talk to someone on
>his team and his response was "Talk to Mitsu."

If that's truly what they said, I'd say it's one more reason why Mitsubishi ought to have offered a generous contingency plan to Evo drivers, rather than putting all their eggs in one (apparently rather ill-prepared) basket. Do you think Mitsubishi refused to let them spend sponsorship money on tires? Sounds like lack of planning, rather than sponsor problems...

On the bright side, the RMR G2 Lancer has been quite reliable. And Lauchlin has been driving very well, indeed!

>Todd M. Bloomer :)

- Christian

Bjorn Christian Edstrom
Valencia Volvo R Sport
See less See more
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.