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Old 28-11-2008, 00:34   #1
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Mitsubishi wins appeal and confirms entry in Wales Rally GB

The Mitsubishi Motors UK works Rally Team is delighted to announce that its appeal against Guy Wilks’ exclusion from September’s Rally Yorkshire was upheld at a Motor Sports Council National Court hearing on Wednesday 26th November.

The decision sees Wilks and his co-driver David Moynihan reinstated as winners of the event, which represented round six of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship. Consequently, the team’s points score is also reinstated, which means it now has the opportunity of challenging to retain its British Driver’s and Team’s titles at this year’s Wales Rally GB.

“Naturally we are delighted with the outcome of the hearing”, said General Manager of Ralliart Paul Brigden. “We build our cars in accordance to the rules and the decision by the MSC confirms this.”

The circumstance which brought-about Wilks’ initial exclusion was a protest alleging that the upper part of his car’s steering column did not comply to Group N regulations. However, the MSC National Court agreed that although it was not the homologated item, it complied with Appendix J of the FIA International Sporting Code, article 254, section 6.7.3, which states that the controls may be adapted to facilitate their use and accessibility.

Because of the timing of the hearing, the team had no choice but to enter its two cars in the Rally GB a few weeks ago - before the closing date. However, if the decision had not gone in Mitsubishi’s favour, the team had made no secret that it would have withdrawn both its cars put the money it would cost to contest the event towards its 2009 campaign.

Although the result of the appeal has come just one week before the Rally GB, both works Lancers are ready to go and the team has planned a pre-event test for Wilks and his team mate Gwyndaf Evans during the next few days.

After crossing the line one-and-a-half minutes ahead of his rivals in Yorkshire, Wilks was over the moon to hear that his deserving victory had been reinstated and was delighted that he now has the opportunity challenge for the championship title for the second year in succession:

“It is great news to know that I’ve got my Yorkshire win back and therefore still be in with a shot at the championship,” said Wilks. “I am now really looking forward to Rally GB and I am more determined than ever to bring back the title, not just for me but for the team, as it has been a difficult few weeks for them as well. Bring it on!”

For Gwyndaf Evans, confirmation of the team’s entry for the Rally GB is also good news, with this year seeing the 20th time the former British Champion and highly-experienced Welshman has taken part in the UK’s round of the World Rally Championship:

“It would have been such a disappointment for the whole team not to have had the chance to compete in the Rally GB”, said Evans. “For me, it is great to have the opportunity to compete in this event for the 20th time – especially as it’s on my home ground. It will be a tough event, but rest assured I’ll be trying my hardest to provide the best result possible for the team. They deserve it.”

Now with the Mitsubishi team preparing for the Wales Rally GB, Paul Brigden has the aim of regaining the British titles firmly in his sights and said:

“Victory in both the British Team’s and Driver’s Championships is an important accolade for Mitsubishi and our focus will be well and truly on achieving this goal next weekend. The whole team is ready and looking forward to the challenge. It’s going to be an exciting finale for us all.”

After a six-month lay-off due to a recurring back problem Phil Pugh, Wilks regular co-driver, makes a welcome return to the team. Evans will be accompanied for the first time by Gareth Roberts, who has been competing alongside the Welshman’s son Elfyn this season.

The Wales Rally GB kicks off with a ceremonial start in Cardiff on Thursday evening. The action starts on Friday morning with eight stages in the forests of south and mid-Wales before the overnight halt in Swansea. A further seven stages take place on Saturday, the last being the spectacular showcase spectator stage inside Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. Four more stages are run on Sunday, with the finish ceremony held in Cardiff that afternoon.

For British Rally Championship crews, the event hosts two rounds and subsequently two points scoring opportunities, one on Friday and another which combines Saturday and Sunday.

The team’s two Lancer Evolution IXs are built by Chesterfield-based ADR Motorsport, who also provide the on-event technical support. The team is sponsored by Lovell Group and Virgin Money, together with its technical partners: HKS, Sparco, Speedline Corse, PIAA and Ricardo.

Tesco 99 Octane British Rally Championship - positions after round five

Drivers
1= Mark Higgins 78
1= David Higgins 78
3 Guy Wilks 76
4 Jonathan Greer 61
5 James Wozencroft 53
6 Brian O’Mahony 37
7= Stuart Jones 31
7= Gwyndaf Evans 31
7= Adam Gould 31
10 Phillip Morrow

Teams
1 Team TQ.com 152
2 Mitsubishi Motors UK 149
3 Atlas TEG Sport 117
4 Revolution Wheels 109
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Old 28-11-2008, 21:28   #2
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Thats good news quick question tho!

Do they use RS or GSR models as the base IX's.... Prop a silly questions
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Old 29-11-2008, 18:41   #3
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Fantastic news. Stick that in ya pipe and smoke it Higgins.

ADR build the Works EVO Rally cars and they most likely use the RS platform. Although a GSR can be turned into a Rally car just as easily.
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Old 30-11-2008, 09:18   #4
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National Court - 26th November 2008

The National Court was convened at Motor Sports House on Wednesday 26th November 2008 to consider an appeal by Mitsubishi Motors UK against the exclusion of Guy Wilks' car from the Trackrod International Rally Yorkshire on 27th September 2008.

The Court established that the British Rally Championship element of the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire was an International event and therefore subject to the International Sporting Code of the FIA.

The Court heard evidence from David Higgins of Team TQ.com who had protested Wilks' car on the basis that the steering column used on Wilks' Mitsubishi Evo IX was not homologated.

Mitsubishi accepted that the top of the column had been modified, but argued that this was permitted under Appendix J, Article 254 / Article 6.7.3 of the International Sporting Code as the steering column forms part of one of the car's controls.

The Court heard evidence from Chris Hodgson, Technical Manager of ADR Motorsport who builds and runs Wilks' Mitsubishi, and Paul Brigden, General Manager of Ralliart UK and Team Principal of Mitsubishi Motors UK works rally team.

Mr Hodgson told the court that the method of attaching the steering wheel to the Evo IX's homologated steering column was not sufficiently robust for competitive use. In his statement Mr Hodgson said:

"We first experienced a serious problem with the pinch bolt fixing on the steering column of the Mitsubishi Evo VIII MR in early 2005. This model was the first to have a pinch bolt fixing on the steering column whereas the Evo VIII had a taper and nut type fixing.

"The problem was that the steering wheel easily came loose under rally use when attached to the pinch bolt fixing on the steering column. When the steering wheel worked loose it would simply spin round on the steering column without turning it. The splines on the pinch bolt fixing are very fine and do not enable the steering wheel to be fixed to the steering column securely enough for rally use."

He continued in his statement: "We therefore changed the pinch bolt top fixing of that steering column for the standard Mitsubishi taper and nut fixing from the Evo VIII steering column, because the pinch bolt type fixing was clearly not suitable for rally use."

The Court had received a statement from Patrick Malley, a driver for M Rally Team competing in the New Zealand Rally Championship and the Pirelli Star Driver Championship, running a Group N Mitsubishi Evo IX.

In his statement Mr Malley said: "I was coming around a fifth gear corner at approximately 150kph when the steering wheel completely broke off from the top of the steering column."

Mr Malley continued in his statement that he then borrowed a replacement steering boss in order to participate in the rally the following day, but that on the following day "upon impact with [a] bank, the connection between the pinch bolt top fixing of the steering column and the steering wheel failed exactly as it had done the previous day."

Mr Brigden confirmed that for normal road use on the production car, the component was "adequate."

Mr Hodgson told the Court that this issue had been exacerbated by Mr Wilks' height. Wilks' steering wheel had been extended to achieve a satisfactory driving position for the 6'4" driver and this additional length would have placed further strain on the attachment to the steering column, said Mr Hodgson.

Mr Higgins asked Mr Hodgson, if the homologated mounting was as dangerous as Mr Hodgson had suggested, whether he should have informed other competitors.

Having considered all of the available evidence, the Court concluded that the modification of the steering column, while not homologated, could be allowed under Appendix J, Article 254 / Article 6.7.3 of the International Sporting Code. As a result, the Court decided that the appeal must be allowed.

The Court felt it appropriate to make the following additional comments:
i)that if Mitsubishi have such genuine concerns that they consider the pinch bolt type of attachment to be inadequate for rally use, they should immediately make those concerns known to all persons using vehicles of this type for rallying, and that
ii)they should take such steps as are necessary to regularise general use of the taper and nut attachment by specific reference within the Regulations so far as possible.

The Court ordered that the appeal fees be refunded and the results of the Trackrod International Rally Yorkshire be re-issued with Car number 1 reinstated as the event winner. No order was made towards costs.

Ends


Release
MSA08-049: 27 November 2008


Note: This report is for information only. It has no regulatory value and does not form any part of the official judgement of the National Court.


Issued on behalf of the Motor Sports Council's National Court
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Old 30-11-2008, 11:10   #5
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PERSONALLY, and its only my opinion ,this stinks ,they changed a part to suit themself against the holmoligation rules and go away with it,i hope higgy sticks it to them on the RALLY WALES
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Old 30-11-2008, 17:07   #6
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PERSONALLY, and its only my opinion ,this stinks ,they changed a part to suit themself against the holmoligation rules and go away with it,i hope higgy sticks it to them on the RALLY WALES

It appears to me that it was done above board and for safety reasons. On top of that, the EVO VIII was also homologated when used in competition and therefore the steering column must conform. Therefore what's the issue?

Come on Wilks, do us proud and kick arse.
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Old 30-11-2008, 19:16   #7
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i understand it was done for "safety reasons" ,but it hasnt stopped dozens of 9s being used in the evo challange with the same column ,but it SHOULD have been holomoligated when the 9 was initailly inspected by the FIA but it wasnt ,there for it was against the rules ,its only cos mitsubishi would take there ball home from and not play out on the RALLY WALES if it wasnt over turned and they pulled something out the bag and got away with it .
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Old 30-11-2008, 22:51   #8
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It appears to me that it was done above board and for safety reasons. On top of that, the EVO VIII was also homologated when used in competition and therefore the steering column must conform. Therefore what's the issue?
It was homologated for the Evo 8 not the 9! It makes the whole point of homologation worthless. The homologation papers describe and picture every detail of the car and *should* be adhered to at all times. That is what they are for.
It will be interesting to see a) which column is used at rally GB and b) what the FIA scrutineers make of it.

ps. Any Evo 9 rally drivers on here been contacted by Mitsubishi regarding this problem?
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Old 01-12-2008, 17:20   #9
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we have a 9 at work and we heard nothing even thought we supply ralliart with some stuff

as for which column they will use ,if they get JERONE the FIA scuttinner then it WILL HAVE TO BE BY THE BOOK so standard 9 column it is .

the ruling still stinks just hope miggims or diggins do the job
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Old 01-12-2008, 17:36   #10
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It was homologated for the Evo 8 not the 9! It makes the whole point of homologation worthless. The homologation papers describe and picture every detail of the car and *should* be adhered to at all times. That is what they are for.
It will be interesting to see a) which column is used at rally GB and b) what the FIA scrutineers make of it.

ps. Any Evo 9 rally drivers on here been contacted by Mitsubishi regarding this problem?
I accept the the homolgation papers are specific to each model of EVO, I just assumed that if an VIII part had been homologated then it could be used. Thats a lack of understanding on my part.

I know my opinion is very biased, but if its a safety defect then they did the right thing to change it in my opinion. Who wants to see a serious injury or fatality in the sport? The change is hardly a performance enhancing modification. Rules are there to make things all equal and fair, but this is going to the far end of a fart.

I hope the result is settled out on the stages, not in a court room like several F1 results.
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Old 01-12-2008, 18:12   #11
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Doesn't matter now.... the main thing is it will be settled in the woods and not in the court room
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Old 02-12-2008, 21:05   #12
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Where is this Sundays stage in Wales taking place anyone have an address and any idea on how to get it, whether it's a ticketed event or anything?

Regards

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Old 02-12-2008, 21:08   #13
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Where is this Sundays stage in Wales taking place anyone have an address and any idea on how to get it, whether it's a ticketed event or anything?

Regards

Mark

Rheola and Port Talbot are both run twice on the Sunday. You'll need stage passes (£20 each) which can be bought from the Rally GB Website although you've probably missed the cut off date for getting them delivered to your door in time.

The stages are well signposted from major roads. Again, check the Rally GB website for more accurate details.
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Old 02-12-2008, 21:10   #14
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Rheola and Port Talbot are both run twice on the Sunday. You'll need stage passes (£20 each) which can be bought from the Rally GB Website although you've probably missed the cut off date for getting them delivered to your door in time.

The stages are well signposted from major roads. Again, check the Rally GB website for more accurate details.
Can these be bought on location by any chance?

Regards

Mark
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Old 02-12-2008, 21:14   #15
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Can these be bought on location by any chance?

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Mark

It appears so mate.

Clicky
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