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November 18, 2022

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Returns To Competition At Asia Cross Country Rally 2022

Ralliart is making its competitive return to the rally stage as Mitsubishi Motors is set to participate at the Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) 2022. Using three specially-prepared Strada (international name, Triton) pickup trucks, Team Mitsubishi Ralliart is competing in the Group T1 prototype class.

On November 21, the first day of the competition, the team will drive a special stage (SS) in Buriram in Northeastern Thailand, followed by a ceremonial start. They will then enter a full-scale stage in Thailand from the 22nd, before reaching the goal in Siem Reap, in Northwestern Cambodia, on the 26th.

Prior to the opening of the AXCR, Team Mitsubishi Ralliart carried out a shakedown of the Strada rally cars that will compete in the AXCR, on the proving ground of Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (MMTh) in Si Racha, Chonburi, Thailand. In previous years, the rally had been run in August during the rainy season, which created challenging routes of mud-clogged roads and river crossings, but this year, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the rally start back to the drier month of November. As a result, in addition to the tough routes, the team is anticipating dry, off-road trails and new challenges including steep gradients.

To prepare for these challenges, Team Mitsubishi Ralliart subjected the Strada rally cars to a total of 1,900 kilometers of endurance testing. After checking the reliability and durability of the rally cars while making final engine and chassis adjustments to deliver both powerful performance and ease of handling, the team was able to confirm that the cars are ready for the rally.

A total of 56 machines—21 vehicles in the motorcycle category, two in the sidecar category, 32 in the car category, and one in the truck category—will run in an opening SS in the city and then participate in the ceremonial start to be held at the Chang Arena. The rally proper begins on the 22nd with Leg 1, and will be competed over courses in the area around Buriram, until Leg 3 on the 24th. Leg 4 on the 25th takes the rally close to the Thailand and Cambodian border before crossing into Cambodia for the final Leg 5 on the 26th, to the finish line near the World Heritage site of Angkor Wat.

“The accomplished engineers of our development team, who had supported the team in winning numerous victories in the World Rally Championship and Dakar Rally, passed down the technology to our mid-career and younger generations and prepared the rally cars for the grueling AXCR. Under the leadership of team director Hiroshi Masuoka, who has won the Dakar Rally two times in a row, I am confident that the team will come together to deliver a strong performance with Mitsubishi Motors-ness. Please look forward to a great showing from Team Mitsubishi Ralliart,” said Hiroshi Nagaoka, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Motors.

Hiroshi Masuoka, team director of Team Mitsubishi Ralliart, commented: “To lead the team to victory as team director, I have drawn on my rallying know-how and experience, built the team organization, and worked to hone our cars. The Triton rally cars have improved with every running, and they are now faster, stronger, and tougher. We have a great service organization in place to support the team, allowing the drivers to apply 100 percent of their own potential. The whole team is ready for this tough challenge.”

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