2013. április 12., péntek


R8 MRE was the last car that debuted from the Evo Vs, making her presence felt at the 1998 Sanremo Rally, driven by Tommi Mäkinen (this was her only rally). The event went well, and the new active rear differential was giving much needed boost in the closing stages, allowing Mäkinen to bring home the car in 1st place.
Huge crowds, smooth tarmac, sunshine - the perfect package, right? 1998 Sanremo (Mitsubishi)
She wasn't seen on the stages ever again competing. Just like V2 MMR and another Evo VI, there's a V in Andrew Cowan's Ralliart collection. However, since these cars shouldn't really exist, he is not too keen about giving out details what cars he have (story: the Mitsubishi Starion Club's president asked Cowan in 2005 about the Group B Starion he has in the very same collection; Cowan first was not happy about the task, and then even denied the existence of the car. However, he forgot that the Starion Club's president once sat in that very car...). If I had to say which car I would have kept, either it would be R2 MRE for being the first works Evo V, or R8 MRE for being the only car that was used once, on tarmac, and even won the rally. I'm going for the latter. On the picture below is the collection. As you can see, there's a V between P33 MRE and a 6.5; as P33 is in gravel trim and the V is sitting much lower than her, it should be in tarmac spec. Now, that's just a guess... (Also, there's the "non existing" Grp. B Starion, which is the third car from left in the upper line...)
The Mecca for Mitsubishi fans...
Track record
Starts: 1
Wins: 1 (1998 Sanremo Rally)


R66 MRE -in contrary to R6 MRE- was everything but a one-off test car. R66 MRE made her debut on the 1998 1000 Lakes (Rally Finland), in the hands of Mäkinen - somewhat strangely, as the double digit in the registration would cite that this should have been Burns' car, but with R6 MRE becoming the test car and R8 MRE was also built for Mäkinen, Burns was using the cars left... But back to the story: Mäkinen had a flawless rally, winning it for the 5th time in a row (after this, his best result until now was a 4th place in 2000...).
Helping Tommi for his 5th and last Finland victory, 1998 (Mitsubishi)
She returned to action on the RAC Rally GB, again with Mäkinen, for the championship showdown against Carlos Sainz. At first, the battle didn't last long, as Mäkinen slid wide on an oil patch left by a historic car, and knocked the right-rear wheel off. He continued, but the police ordered him to stop, forcing his retirement. The rest is history as they say, and Mäkinen became a 3 time world champion despite this.
A little bit of stunt...
...and from another angle.

After this, she wasn't seen again.

Track record
Starts: 2
Wins: 1 (1998 1000 Lakes Rally)
Podiums: 1 (1998 1000 Lakes Rally)
Retirements: 1 (1998 RAC Rally GB)

2013. április 8., hétfő


R6 MRE was the Evo V's test car (much like Y2 MMR for the early Evo WRCs, or S22 and S44 TMR for the VIs), and as that she never competed, and actually, there are not so many pictures of her. But as a test car, she was used the most, and there's 0 chance that she missed being scrapped.
Testing on gravel with Mäkinen...
...and Burns. (Mitsubishi)


R44 MRE's (factory) story is the shortest alongside R6 MRE's (more on that later). She debuted on the 1998 Acropolis Rally, driven by Richard Burns. Tactics were heavily involved during the event, and that meant Burns had to sweep the road on the second day. He was catching back the time he lost on the third, but the suspension couldn't bear the heavy punishment, and the crew had to retire.
After leading on the first day, everything went wrong (Mitsubishi)
As I got to know now, the car was transferred to Ralliart Germany for Uwe Nittel's remaining programme of 1998. Their first event together was the ADAC Deutschland Rallye, where they finished 2nd, 4 seconds behind Matthias Kahle's Corolla WRC.
ADAC Rallye Deutschland 1998 (automobilposter.de)
ADAC Rallye Deutschland 1998 (MKTV PL)
ADAC Rallye Deutschland 1998 (MKTV PL)
Next up was the AvD Hunsrück Rallye. This one ended pretty fast, as Nittel cut a corner, a stone hit the suspension and they had to retire.
AvD Hunsrück Rallye 1998 (Misi S)
Next up was the Mänttä 200 Ralli, a then-popular rally that was used as a test by many works teams as preparation before the big one - Rally Finland. Nittel and the team took part in 1998, with an unknown result.
Mänttä 200 Ralli 1998 (personal.inet.fi)
Her final recorded event was the Rally Finland. They started the rally well, lurking around the top10 with a new car in bad conditions, but disaster struck on SS7 Kuohu, as they crashed and had to retire.
Neste Rally Finland 1998 (Petr Fitz / ewrc.cz)

And that was it, the plate R44 MRE was never used again (at least I don't know about it). Depending on how badly crashed the car was and if it was brought back to Rugby, this car can very well be alive still today... just with some upgrades.

Track record (not complete)
Starts: 5
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1

Retirements: 3
  • 1998 Rally Finland - accident
  • 1998 AvD Hunsrück Rallye - puncture/suspension
  • 1998 Acropolis Rally - 

2013. április 7., vasárnap


R4 MRE's career didn't start out as a success story. She was Mäkinen's car at the 1998 Acropolis Rally, where they couldn't enjoy the company of each other as the electronics went silent on the first day. Ouch.
The first victim of the 1998 Acropolis Rally (Mitsubishi)
Her next rally was the 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland, now with Burns as her driver. The lack of experience held back them, but they fought hard and finished in 5th; not bad on his first Rally Finland...
Flying the British flag on the way for 5th, 1998 Finland (Mitsubishi)
Her final rally was the famous RAC Rally, and as this was Burns' home event, the expectations were high. This time, Richard stayed out of trouble, the car was faultless, and a beautiful drive took them to the top of the podium; also, this result meant that Mitsubishi was the Manufacturers' Champion of 1998.
The RAC Rally was known for going through palace gardens (Mitsubishi)
Celebrating the win on their last drive for Ralliart (Mitsubishi)
There's always a slim chance that a car from the pre-Evo VI era survived, but it is not really likely.

Track record
Starts: 3
Wins: 1 (1998 RAC Rally GB)
Podiums: 1 (1998 RAC Rally GB)
Retirements: 1 (1998 Acropolis Rally)

2013. április 6., szombat


R33 MRE debuted alongside R3 MRE on the 1998 Rallye Argentina, piloted by Richard Burns. The debut event went well more or less, as the young Briton was really fast, but problems held him back early. After that he fought back to the points, holding off a charging McRae.In the end, they finished 4th.
A typical picture from Argentina (Mitsubishi)
As a long-haul car, her next event was the Rallye New Zealand, again with Burns. They had good speed, but mistakes put them out of the point-scoring places, and eventually finished 9th.
A good picture of NZ's fast, flowing stages (Mitsubishi)
Her final rally was the Rally Australia, still with Burns. They have been fighting in the top five all along, and were in the battle for the win on the final day; however, Richard cut a corner too much, and rolled the car into the trees. They could continue, but later missed a braking point, and rolled into the trees again. This time the radiator was also damaged, frocing them to retire.
If it wasn't for two rolls, they could have won (Mitsubishi)
She wasn't seen again after Australia, not even at testing, so it is safe to say she was scrapped.

Track record
Starts: 3
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best finish: 4th (1998 Rally Argentina)
Retirements: 1 (1998 Rally Australia)


I almost forgot about R22 MRE, but luckily I got my mind back in order, so here is the (very) short story.
R22 made her debut alongside R2 at the 1998 Catalunya Rallye, with Richard Burns as her driver. Despite Burns' lack of experience, the crew did well, and finished right behind team-mate Mäkinen in 4th place.
En route to 4th on the Evo V's debut (Mitsubishi)
Her final appearance on an event was the 1998 Corsica Rally, again with Burns. They were doing well (they were podium contenders!) until Richard hit a stone, the lower arm broke, and they had to retire on the liaison back to the service park.
Not much before they hit a stone, 1998 Corsica (Mitsubishi)
She was used as a test car for Loix prior to the 1999 season, wearing an Evo VI front bumper and rear wing (R2 MRE and S22 TMR make appearances in the video as well): click here. After that, she wasn't seen again.

Track record
Starts: 2
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best finish: 4th (1998 Rallye Catalunya)
Retirements: 1 (1998 Corsica Rally)

2013. április 5., péntek


R3 MRE was one of the Evo Vs that lasted well after they completely dissapeared from the rally stages. She made her debut as a long haul car, first used at the 1998 Rally Argentina as Mäkinen's car (yes, the numberplate rule returns again). The event was great, and despite some problems Mäkinen collected his third straight Argentina win.
Speeding through the spectacular, yet car-killer Argentine scenery (Mitsubishi)
Her next event was the Rallye New Zealand. Despite early problems and some lack of confidence (he crashed out of the previous 3 NZ Rallies!), Mäkinen could fight back and finished a great 3rd.
The NZ stages always favor the Finns... well, not in 1998 (Mitsubishi)
Her last competitive appearance came with the Rally Australia, and as usual -at least until Marlboro came-, the cars were dressed in Winfield-colours. After an event with a lot of interesting happenings (Mäkinen had a penalty for jumping the start, but the start lights and the clock weren't synchronised, and later the penalty was removed; Sainz, who was badly affected by the decision, even said that it's a conspiracy). After a five-way fight for the win on the last day, Mäkinen won; basically, not just the rally, but the championship as well.
Sporting the Winfield livery for the very last time on a very controversial event... (Mitsubishi)
She was never entered to a rally again, instead, she was used as a test and promotional car in early 1999, but later disappeared. Interestingly, she returned in 2000 for the Marlboro Challenge with Freddy Loix to take on Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari and Max Biaggi's Ducati, and also for some donuts.
One of these vehicles was thought to be dead... (Mitsubishi)
On her last public appearance, now disguised as an Evo VI, 2000 Marlboro Challenge (Mitsubishi)
She hasn't been seen since that, but the fact that she made it at least till 2000 might give a slight chance that she was bought by a private collector.

Track record
Starts: 3
Wins: 2 (1998 Rally Argentina & Rally Australia)
Podiums: 3 (1998 Rally Argentina, Rallye New Zealand & Rally Australia)


Now, let's jump back to 1998, more marticularly to the Evo Vs, the statistically most successful, yet the least used cars in Ralliart's rich history.
R2 MRE (note: at this time there was no Marlboro on the cars, so MRE stood for Mitsubishi Ralliart Europe, whereas MMR stood for Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart, TMR for Team Mitsubishi Ralliart, etc.) made her debut on the 5th round of the 1998 season, the Rallye Catalunya in Spain, with Tommi Mäkinen behind the wheel. The car was new as this was also the debut of the works Evo V as well; the car was good straight out of the box, mainly thanks to the wider track and the updated suspensions and differentials. The Mäkinen-Mannisenmäki-Mitsubishi trio arrived back to Salou in 3rd place.
A podium on a debut? Not bad! (Mitsubishi)
As Corsica was the usual follow-up to Spain, she made the short trip to the island, where the event is known as the "rally of the thousand turns". A really fitting title... As Corsica had some personal problems with Mäkinen (in 1997, he hit a cow at 180kph, in 2000 he rolled, in 2001 he crashed and basically ended his codriver's career), this year was just having fun: he had no accidents, but the electronics gave up, sending the crew home earlier than they expected.
The fans didn't get to see them twice... (Mitsubishi)
Her final works event was the 1998 Sanremo Rally, this timw badged as a 'Carisma GT' and was being driven by Richard Burns. Despite his lack of experience of the event, he was looking to finish in 5th position until an electrocincal glitch forced him to give up two places.
On her last works event, the 1998 Sanremo Rally (Mitsubishi)
She was used as a test car in early 1999 alongside some of the Vs, such as R8 MRE, but after those tests she wasn't seen ever again; but this does not rule out that she exists somewhere, as more and more Mitsus are coming out of their hiding place...

Track record
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (1998 Rallye Catalunya)
Best finish: 3rd (1998 Rallye Catalunya)
Retirements: 1 (1998 Corsica Rally)

2013. április 4., csütörtök


Well, all is good if the ending is good, and so is the series of the Evo WRCars. Just a very much typical Ralliart story: while KN52 XBB had a short and sad career, KN52 XBC, in contrary, is still doing well, and is the most successful Evo WRC ever, and also the only one existing that never ever wore the Marlboro livery. But let's just start from the beginning.
She was built alongside KN52 XBB, and after they were only completed after the team decided they was going for a testing year, she was used to test components for the new car. And just like her sister, she was entered to the 2003 Deutschland Rallye, her driver being Kristian Sohlberg. Nothing really exciting, as the crew finished 17th.
A Flying Finn flying the car, 2003 Deutschland Rallye (Petr Lusk)
She returned to action in 2007 after she was bought by Ramon Apalantza. He had tremendous success with the car, using it only on tarmac rallysprints, and basically never finishing out of the top4. He stopped rallying her in 2009 when he started using a Group N Evo IX, but he still has the car, which is displayed in a museum.
Update: just realised that her last start so far was in 2010, on the Rallysprint Villa de Fitero, where they finished 5th.
Awaiting the start
In 2009
Before scrutineering
Possibly Rallyesprint de Karrantza 2007
In 2009, during her last full competitive season so far
Rallye Balcon de Bizkaia 2009
Rallysprint de Azkoitia 2007
Track record
Starts: 22
Wins: 2 (Rallye Balcon de Bizkaia 2009 & Rallysprint de Azkoitia 2007)
Podiums: 14 (6x 2nd, 8x 3rd)
Retirements: 3 (Rallysprint de Azkoitia 2007, Rallysprint de Azpeitia - Ikasberri 2008, Rallysprint de Azpeitia - Ikasberri 2008)

2013. április 3., szerda


Maybe the saddest story of all these cars goes to this gal, KN52 XBB. She was a pure test car, and never saw competition in 2002 as she was finished after Rally GB. So in 2003, she was used to test parts for the new, completely redesigned (that's a bit illogical to test components in a car for an other that has no similarities to the older one except the wheelbase and the base engine, but OK), but was finally entered to the 2003 Deutschland Rallye, with Jani Paasonen. They were way off the pace, and on the rain-soaked event, they went straight on a corner, landing in the forest; the car was basically written off, and as no need for her, she was just scrapped after the event.
On her first event, the 2003 Dautschland Rallye (Petr Lusk)
2014 Update: It caught my attention that Jari Tuuri (whose team is running KP51 RWO for Ari Vihavainen) aquired/built a new Lancer WRC, and used it as a course car on the ABC Ralli this year.
Album of the car's rebuild: http://septech.fi/albumi/mitsubishiwrcstep2projekti/
He entered the Neste Rally Finland with this car -this was the first appearance of a Lancer Evo WRC on the event since 2002!-, and finished 3rd in his category!
On the Rally Finland podium, 2014 (Oke Tuuri)
Their latest event was the Toivakka Ralli, where they finished 11th.
The beauty in the service park (Jarkko Ruotsalainen)
On Octorber 4th, they participated on the Kattasora Rallisprint in Laukaa. Thanks for the pics again! :)
2014 Kattasora Sprint (Tuuri)
Same. Looking splendid!
Also, they found and bought a lot of spares for their cars, so the dreaded parts shortage won't hit these old ladies in the future. Also, here's a video, XBB appears at 0:27.

There were othr starts, but until I can confirm which these were, I won't write about them.
Her first event of the year was the Lipposen-OP Talvirallisprint, driven by Antti Matikainen (and possibly by Jari Tuuri as well, I will have to get info on that).
Lipposen-OP Talvirallisprint 2015 (TT-Photomedia)
Up next was the Ala-Talkkari SM Sprint, with Tuuri driving her. They finished 13th after some mistakes costing a lotof time.
2015 Ala-Talkkari SM Sprint (Verkkonen.net)
The next event was the Vaakuna Ralli, part of the Finnish Championship. She was piloted by Tuuri again, and this time, they finished 38th.
2015 SM Vaakuna Ralli (Timo Korkalainen / SM Ralli facebook)
SM Vaakuna Ralli 2015 (www.sutipro.com)
The car returned to action on the SM Itäralli, again with Antti Matikainen. Given the fact that he hasn't driven the car in competition since the winter, their 13th place finish is not that bad.
SM Itäralli 2015 (Itäralli facebook)
Jari Tuuri returned to the car for the Orimattila 150v. Juhlaralli, where they finished 5th. Unfortunately, so far I couldn't find any photos, so if you have any links or own pics, just let me know!

Tuuri also drove her on the 4vetomies 2015 event, and finished 4th overall!
4vetomies 2015 (4vetomies Twitter)
The car returned on the Pirelli Ralli Tampere, but this time with Antti Matikainen. They were around 10th overall, but just like the other Lancer WRC with Ari Vihavainen, they didn't get far from SS8, as they retired in the finish of the stage; it is not quite clear why though.
Pirelli Ralli Tampere 2015 (Jari Salopino / KAMERAKUVA facebook)
The car returned on the 2016 FRC season opener, the Arctic Rally, with Mikko Eskelinen, who was competing with co-driver (and Ralliart works team veteran) Arto Kapanen, who returned to this car for the first time after the 2003 Deutschland Rallye! Well, back to the actual event: they did well, and finished 3rd (although only because Nikara retired from the lead on the final stage). Not a bad debut with the car!
Arctic Lapland Rally 2016 (Mikko Eskelinen fanpage)
Arctic Lapland Rally 2016 (Jani Kekoni / mediaguru.fi)
They returned on the second round of the Finnish Championship, the SM Vaakuna Ralli. They struggled a bit in the dark, but on the final day moved up the leaderboard, and finished 6th overall and 4th in SM1 class.
SM Vaakuna Ralli 2016 (Jani Kekoni / mediaguru.fi)
The third round of the FRC was the Tahko Ralli. Just like the sister car (KP51 RWO), they had a pretty uneventful start, but as the day progressed, they climbed higher and higher, eventually reaching the finish in 3rd overall, meaning that this is the first time in years that two Lancer WRCs of any kind have graced the final podium at the same time!
During scrutineering, SM Tahko Ralli 2016 (Ralli SM)
Next up was the Enset Oy SM-Ralli. They hoped for a good result given the stage characteristics, but that didn't come to fruition. They finished 6th overall and 5th in SM1 class, and were a minute behind the trio fighting for 3rd place. However, these were still good point for the championship, where they have a chance for the podium.
Enset Oy SM-Ralli 2016 (Marko Koivunen)
The penultimate round of the 2016 Finnish Championship was held in Turku, with a very strong entry list - although OC Veiby was missing from the frontrunners. Eskelinen and Kapanen couldn't take advantage of the Mitsubishi's strong engine as exactly this failed and they had to retire.
SM Ralli Turku 2016 (www.rallism.fi)
The last round of the 2016 Finnish Championship was as usual the Pirelli Ralli, held in Tampere. They prepared with a good test for the event, and they were in the fight for the podium when they lost 22s on SS6, then retired in checkpoint 7B with a blown engine, likely caused by an electrical problem. Hopefully they can sort out the reliability issues that plagued them in the end, and get good results with the car next year.
Pirelli Ralli Tampere 2016 (Marko Koivunen)
Pirelli Ralli Tampere 2016 (Marko Koivunen)
The car was refurbished before the season, and also got a brand new livery, dominated by Mad Croc Orange. They started the year well, finishing 10th on the Arctic Rally against much younger and faster cars.
Arctic Lapland Rally 2017 (Roope Korhonen)
Their next event was the SM Vaakuna Ralli. Unfortunately, they had to retire with mechanical problems for the 3rd time in four rallies.
SM Vaakuna Ralli 2017 (race.kuvat.fi)
Their next event was the Vetomies part of Rally Finland. They did well, and finished the event in 3rd overall, even winning a stage along the way.
Rally Finland Vetomies 2017 (Womppi Racing)
Track record (not full)
Starts: 21
Wins: 0
Podiums: 4
  • 2014 Neste Rally Finland Open-4WD Class
  • 2016 Arctic Rally (SM1 class)
  • 2016 Tahko Ralli
  • 2017 Neste Rally Finland - Vetomies
Retirements: 5
  • 2003 ADAC Rallye Deutschland - accident
  • 2015 Pirelli Ralli Tampere
  • 2016 SM Ralli Turku - engine 
  • 2016 Pirelli Ralli Tampere -engine
  • 2017 SM Vaakuna Ralli - mechanical