The Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports WRC team completed its final preparations for the Rally of Turkey this morning, Harri Rovanperä and “Gigi” Galli running the two Lancer WRC05s ahead of tonight's start of the seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
“We had a good test
last week and so today was simply about running the cars and checking the settings,” commented Technical Director Mario Fornaris. “I think we have found some improvements with the dampers and the overheating problems we experienced in Cyprus have been cured so I don't anticipate this type of problem again. Otherwise, everything is going well so far.”
Despite experiencing bad luck in Turkey each year it has run in the series, Harri Rovanperä and Risto Pietiläinen go into the event with confidence. Conditions are however going to be unpredictable. During today's shakedown, blue skies and searing heat were a welcome change to the torrential rain and fog experienced during the reconnaissance on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wet, muddy and slippery roads are now drying quickly, changing the face of the event significantly.
Everything was okay for us during shakedown and I'm feeling quite confident,” said Harri. “I am really happy the conditions are drier and hopefully it will stay like this for the whole weekend; it certainly makes decisions a lot easier. As the roads dry it creates some ruts and bumps, but the stages are still much better than last year, with a lot less rocks. It's not such a tough event on tires, but with some good choices, hopefully we can stay close to the top of the leaderboard from the outset.”
Gigi Galli and Guido D'Amore have only previously competed in Turkey once, their outing last year netting them 10th overall in one of four events the Italians contested in the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04.
“It is going to be interesting to see the conditions tomorrow as they will have changed a lot,” said Gigi. “It obviously makes a difference to the pace notes because you don't know what kind of roads you are going to find, but everyone will be in the same situation and we just have to adapt as quickly as possible. Hopefully it will stay dry, because in the wet it is a very difficult rally. But, my feeling with the car is good, testing went well last week and I will start at my own pace and see where we are.”
The event kicks off tonight with a ceremonial start in Antalya, but the action opens tomorrow morning with the first of eight special stages, all based around the central service area in Kemer. The route takes in 148.14 competitive kilometers and is rounded off with the first run around the new 2.6 kilometer super special stage in Antalya.
Press release Mitsubishi Motors