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This was a very rare car in World Rallying, but it delivered some of the funniest stories. Technically it was the Lancer 2000 Turbo engine in a heavier, bigger, still RWD car. The Ralli Art works team only ever built one, "C196 LGP", and that was on customer request for Patrick Tauziac, who retired it in the 1986 Bandama Rallye. (Actually there was a 2nd one, C301 MPU, but never seen in WRC or BRC.)
After that Ralli Art had the car sitting around for a while. By 1988 Pentti Airikkala had no program and he wanted to piece together a BRC drive. He thought Ralli Art had no use for the Mitsubishi Starion Turbo and since Ford Sierra Cosworth and BMW M3 are doing well in the BRC, the unwanted RWD Starion Turbo may not be such a bad idea after all. Pentti asked Andrew Cowan and his reply was on the lines of 'Sure, you can have it, but I don't know what you want it for, it's a useless car'. Andrew Cowan didn't seem to care much about the idea while Pentti Airikkala went out testing and altering set ups. Shortly afterwards Cowan was on a business trip to Japan. In the plane he bought a daily newspaper and only in here he found out that his "hopeless" car had won the opening round of the BRC 1988 (Cartel Rally)! Questions if this was luck or lack of competition Pentti whiped away in winning round3 (Welsh Rally) too. And while the Cartel Rally had a high atrition rate, lady driver Louise Atkin-Walker coming 2nd to the Starion Turbo in a Peugeot 205 GTI, in Wales Pentti and the Starion had to beat Jimmy McRae's works Sierra Cosworth by 28sec. However then results started dropping, but in the end Pentti in the Starion still finished 2nd in the championship.
However later Pentti was to claim the car indeed wasn't that brilliant. It had potential, but after the first successes Japanese Mitsubishi engineers started being interested in it. Ever heard anybody unhappy about works support? It seems the Japanese engineers had their own ideas of how to make the car even more competitive, they interfered with Pentti's own set up ideas and apparently the car became more undriveable event by event, the more the Japanese works engineers worked on it. At the end of the season Pentti was then involved in a huge accident with the Starion that hospitalised him. Pentti's verdict: "This was a good thing, the car I hated was dead and I met the most beautiful nurse!"
While Pentti told this story to me in person, there is a big contradiction or misunderstanding. I am not deleting the story, for it is well funny. Thing is, I have seen the car around since and forum member Topcat confirmed the car is still around, he even delivered the photos. It is true that Pentti's BRC results tumbled big style after his 2 wins in the first 3 rounds, after Japanese works engineers got involved with it. But Pentti still finished 6th on the Manx Rally 1988 with C196 LGP, which was the last round of the BRC that year, and I myself am not aware of Pentti having driven the car thereafter! Pentti has had so many magic moments, maybe he has mixed it up with his career ending horror crash in the Ford Sapphire Cosworth from leading the 1990 RAC Rally. However here such comment "the car I hated was dead" doesn't make sense, because on that occasion, despite crashing at 200km/h Pentti was lucky, "H377 JEV" was not actually a write off plus I count 21 works Sapphire Cosworth 4x4 groupA. Killing a rare Starion Turbo would have been far more ultimate in killing the species. Oh well, funny story, nice car, glad she's still alife and hope Pentti had fun with the nurse.
Model & Evo. (Activity)
|Starion Turbo (86-88)||280/7000||337/5000||4525.1705.1315||1350 (4.8)||RWD (2435)|
Sorry, there are no photos.
This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.
|2nd.||1989 WRC Bandama Rallye||P. Tauziac||C. Papin||#2||[UNKNOWN]||11:36:50|
|4th.||1988 WRC Rally New Zealand||D. Officer||K. Officer||#5||[UNKNOWN]||8:04:20|
|3rd.||1988 WRC Bandama Rallye||P. Tauziac||C. Papin||#5||[UNKNOWN]||7:20:20|
|5th.||1987 WRC Rally New Zealand||D. Officer||K. Officer||#7||[UNKNOWN]||7:35:12|
|17th.||1987 WRC Rally of Finland||A. Laine||R. Virtanen||#23||[UNKNOWN]||0:00:00|
|7th.||1987 WRC Bandama Rallye||M. Yace||J. Yace||#11||[UNKNOWN]||11:01:43|
|4th.||1987 WRC Bandama Rallye||P. Tauziac||C. Papin||#17||[UNKNOWN]||5:37:53|
|11th.||1987 WRC Rally of Great Britain||S. Ohba||Y. Kusakabe||#43||[UNKNOWN]||0:00:00|
This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.
|Ret.||1988 WRC Bandama Rallye||E. Salim||C. Konan||#12||[UNKNOWN]||SS73 suspension|
|Ret.||1988 WRC Rally of Finland||L. Lampi||P. Kuukkala||#29||[UNKNOWN]||SS14 suspension|
|Ret.||1987 WRC Rally of Finland||L. Lampi||P. Kuukkala||#10||[UNKNOWN]||SS28 turbo|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Bandama Rallye||P. Tauziac||C. Papin||#11||[UNKNOWN]||SS26 suspension|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Rally of Finland||A. Laine||R. Virtanen||#21||[UNKNOWN]||SS21 engine|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Rally of Great Britain||S. Ohba||Y. Kusakabe||#56||[UNKNOWN]||SS11 engine|