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R5 specification Mitsubishi development programme gathers pace

16th March 2015

Örebro, Sweden

Following a series of successful tests in Sweden over the past few weeks, the development of the R5 specification Mitsubishi will move to its next phase in the second-half of this month, with the car set to take part in the Emmeloord-based Tank S Rally on 21st March and the Rally of North Wales a week later on 28th March.

With most of the running so far carried out in winter conditions, these two events will enable engineers to thoroughly appraise the car on asphalt and gravel surfaces in a competitive environment, as Tomas Weng of Mpart – the company behind the R5 specification Mitsubishi project – explains:

“We have been extremely satisfied with the performance of the car in all of the testing we have done, but up to now most of it has been on snow. Taking part in these two events will provide us with important information for asphalt and gravel surfaces. It will also enable us to measure the competitiveness of the car as it currently stands.”

Last month saw the Mitsubishi approved by the SBF to run in Sweden in its non-homologated form. It has since been approved to run in Holland and is due to be assessed by the MSA in order for it to compete in the UK.

The transition from snow to asphalt and then to gravel has seen Swedish suspension specialists Öhlins heavily involved, to ensure the Mitsubishi’s unique system operates effectively on each surface. The car has also undergone a series of minor upgrades in other areas since the last test.

The Tank S Rally starts and finishes in Emmeloord in Northern Holland and features 12 stages totaling 109kms on closed public roads in the Noordoostpolder area. The Mitsubishi will be driven by Tomas’ brother Hans-Erik Weng and run as a course car at the head of the field.

The team will then head to the UK to carry out gravel testing before the Rally of North Wales. Based in Dolgellau, the event includes 41 miles of special stages in the region’s forests. Swedish driver Martin Berglund – who has carried out most of the testing on snow - will take over driving duties and, on this occasion, will be entered as a competitor.