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First asphalt outing reveals Mitsubishi R5+’s potential

23rd March 2015

Emmeloord, Holland

This weekend saw the development of the Mitsubishi R5+ take a significant step forward, when it took part in the Tank S Rally in Holland. It was the car’s first extensive run on asphalt and the Mpart team – the operation behind the Mitsubishi R5+ project – were not only pleased with the outcome, but reassured that the car is competitive.

Taking place on closed public roads close to its Emmeloord base, the rally featured 12-stages on typical smooth Dutch asphalt, the event chosen by Tomas Weng – the owner of Mpart – to provide a good test on tarmac together with an opportunity for the team to evaluate the car’s performance. The Mitsubishi was piloted on this occasion by experienced Swedish driver Hans-Erik Weng (Tomas’ brother) and ran at the head of the field as the first course car.

The initial loop of four stages went well, with Hans-Erik admitting he was driving cautiously in order to get used to the conditions and gather information that could be fed back at the first service halt. Öhlins engineer Patrick Karlsson – who doubled-up as co-driver - adjusted the suspension settings before the second loop of the same four stages and immediately, the difference in performance became apparent.

It was a similar story for the final four stages, with the car setting stage times that were comparable with competitors running at the front of the field. Although unofficial, the times provided very satisfying reading for the team, as Tomas Weng explains:

“We went to this event looking to gather data and information about the car’s performance on asphalt in real rally conditions.  As it turned out, we came away with more than that. It is clear the car is competitive and, if it had been entered in the rally, there is no doubt it would have been capable of achieving a top position. This was an extremely satisfying outcome for all of us involved with the project.”

The team now heads to the UK to carry out further testing on gravel. This will include entry into Saturday’s Rally North Wales. Martin Bergland – who carried out most of the development driving duties on snow – will be behind the wheel for the tests and for the event. His co-driver will be Sofie Lundmark from Sweden.


Photo: Rally-eMag

Photo: Dré Galiart



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