From Ron Salter [ 20/10/2001 ].
Click to read all other Mitsubishi News.
The sole surviving Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC of Freddy Loix made significant progress up the leaderboard today jumping from an overnight 32nd into 14th by the end of special stage 12. On leg one Loix suffered two punctures which cost him dearly but today he has found more time to hone the set up of his car to optimise the way in which it is handling on the new suspension components introduced since San Remo. Risto Mannisenamki, co-driver to Tommi Makinen, has undergone tests in Marseilles since yesterday's big accident and he apparently has a crushed vertebrae - a similar injury put Bruno Thiry's co-driver Stephane Prevot out of action for Finland.
After yesterday's problems Loix is now using the event as a "live" test session and has been pleased with the progress made - this was highlighted on SS10 when he set the 5th quickest time.
"We changed some of the transmission and suspension settings last night and the feeling in the car was better", said Freddy. "We concentrated on the transmission and once we were happy with that, began working on the suspension to try to improve the car further. We can take better lines and attack more now, and bit by bit we are definitely moving forward".
Adding to Freddy’s comments, chief engineer Bernard Lindauer said: "The car’s getting better and better after each service. The changes we made before the start of the rally were clearly a move in the right direction, but the limited amount of time at shakedown meant we couldn’t finalise the settings. But we’re obviously pleased we’re getting closer to the pace, and I’m also sure Tommi could have got a good result here had he not had his accident".
Unsurprisingly a Mitsubishi leads Grp N. In fact they are almost guaranteed another victory in that category with Lancers holding 5 of the top 6 spots! Gustavo Trelles leads Jean-Marc Sanchez by about one and a half minutes.
The third and final leg will cover 111.68km over 4 stages with the first stage due to get underway at 09:56 local time.
Leaderboard at the end of leg two:
1 J.PURAS - CITROEN XSARA 220.127.116.11
2 G.PANIZZI - PEUGEOT 206 +23.5
3 D.AURIOL - PEUGEOT 206 +49.9
4 P.SOLBERG - SUBARU IMPREZA +2.38.4
5 F.DELECOUR - FORD FOCUS +3.22.6
6 M.MARTIN - SUBARU IMPREZA +3.40.4
7 R.BURNS - SUBARU IMPREZA +4.19.2
8 H.ROVANPERA - PEUGEOT 206 +5.24.6
9 P.LIATTI - HYUNDAI ACCENT +5.34.6
10 A.McRAE - HYUNDAI ACCENT +6.00.3
11 A.MORTL - SUBARU IMPREZA +7.31.6
12 C.McRAE - FORD FOCUS +8.39.3
13 N.WEARDEN - PEUGEOT 206 +9.26.4
14 F.LOIX - MITSUBISHI LANCER +10.51.7
15 S.LOEB - CITROEN SAXO +12.55.5
20 G.TRELLES - MITSUBISHI LANCER Gr.N +17.07.7