Tag Archives: mitsubishi

Safari with MML Sports

With the demise of the famous Safari Rally from the FIA World Rally Championship, you’d be forgiven for thinking that cars built to the unique specification required to not only survive but succeed on arguably the toughest event ever to feature in the WRC would have also disappeared. But in fact, this is far from the case, with British company MML Sports developing and building Safari-spec Mitsubishi rally cars for the 21st Century.

The company was recently approached by the Team Kibos rally team and asked to supply two Group N Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX rally cars; one for the Kenyan Rally Championship and one for the FIA African Rally Championship. The two cars were built to identical, Safari-specification with the only difference between the two being in the livery, with one series’ door plates larger than the other.

It’s no surprise that MML Sports knows what it’s doing when it comes to building rally cars to survive the toughest conditions on the African continent. In its previous guise as Ralliart Europe, which ran the works Mitsubishi team, it took four wins while the event was part of the WRC and a Mitsubishi has won the event, which continues to run as part of the African series, eight times in the last ten years.

• The bodyshell has been strengthened through joins and seams re-made. Same for the suspension, engine and transmission crossmembers.
• The rear exhaust system is strengthened, the skid protection upgraded to cover the entire floorpan with 8mm aluminium.
• Increase in ground clearance of more than 40mm to avoid the suspension bottoming out and to raise the degree of protection.
• The car’s Reiger dampers been specifically developed for the rough African conditions and will cope with extremely high-speed movement, typical with wheels and tyres rolling over large rocks or dropping into pot-holes. The suspension mounting points have also been strengthened.
• All the extra strengthening has only added 40-45kg of weight to these Group N Evo X machines over their “Euro” spec siblings.

Horsey happy with pace in Portugal

Peter Horsey - Picture by Geoff Mayes Media.

Kenyan rally driver Peter Horsey was all smiles at the end of leg one of WRC Rally Portugal after having completed his first full day of a World Rally Championship event and ends the opening leg fourth amongst the Pirelli Star Drivers!

Horsey, who won the African section of the Pirelli initiative, struggled with a seating position on the opening loop of stages, an issue created by the fact that the car, a Ralliart Italy Mitsubishi Evo X, is a brand new car, built after Horsey’s previous car was destroyed in a fire on the opening day of WRC Turkey five weeks ago. Horsey, along with co-driver Moses Matovu, have had no opportunity to test the car and spent Friday fine tuning the Evolution 10 rally car. Continue reading Horsey happy with pace in Portugal

German Rally Champion spurred on for Rally Portugal

Hermann Gassner jnr/Katherina Wustenhagen - Picture by Red Bull Gepa Pictures

Hermann Gassner jnr/Katharina Wustenhagen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, are going to Portugal and want to finish on the Group N podium – following a fourth place last year.

Even before Hermann Gassner junior and co-driver Katharina Wustenhagen set off for Rally Portugal they received the good news that was to spur them on.

After a very successful test last week the two will first get further tests, as well as another WRC outing this year as a great additional reward on top of it.

Gassner jnr/Wustenhagen will contest Rally Spain for the Red Bull Rally Team in October.

Following Rally Sweden, the upcoming Rally Portugal, as well as the WRC rounds in Germany, France and Great Britain, the German rally champion will therefore compete in a total of six WRC events this year.

Gassner jnr. said: “This is great news at just the right moment. Testing last week was very positive, and learning of the additional WRC event obviously provides me with an extra boost of motivation, especially ahead of the difficult trials in Portugal next weekend.”

The two Red Bull drivers have mainly concerned themselves with their personal fitness ever since the Swedish Rally – in numerous training units, for example at the Centre for Diagnostics and Performance in Thalgau.

Several “rally taxi drives” for Pirelli also kept their preparation on the move. In addition Gassner jnr. was able to get to know his mechanics and service crew better, after all the young Bavarian was working as a member of the technical staff at the rallies in New Zealand and Jordan.

The German rally champions Hermann Gassner jnr./Kathi Wustenhagen already competed in Portugal last year, finishing fourth in the Group N classification.

“We would be content with a similar result again this year, maybe we’ll make it onto the podium. However we don’t know yet how many local favourites from Portugal are going to take the start.”
– Credit: Red Bull Rally