Oz Safari : Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV ‘hasn’t missed a beat’
Team Mitsubishi Ralliart was on a high after rising to ninth outright in the Australasian Safari but was forced out of today’s competitive leg when its service truck ran into difficulty.
TEAM MITSUBISHI RALLIART (TMR) and its Outlander PHEV is tonight lamenting what might have been after having risen to ninth outright before being forced to sit out today’s special stages. With the service truck suffering five flat tyres on Wednesday evening and not arriving in service until 6am this morning, an hour after the start of special-stage-one (5am).
Talking with Practical Motoring, Mitsubishi Australia’s media boss, Shayna Welsh said: Our service truck and its crew didn’t make it back to service until 6am this morning after five flat tyres and a long transport to Exmouth, so we’ve been forced to sit out the stages today.
“Drivers and service crews were required to make another 200-plus km trek to the start of SS1 this morning, which meant a departure time of around 5am (bikes left at 3am), so we well and truly missed our chance,” she said.
TMR Outlander PHEV pilot, Steve Glenney said the Outlander PHEV was perfectly suited to Wednesday’s stages which combined fast, open sections with some tighter more technical corners.
“Yesterday morning’s stages suited the Outlander PHEV really well, with faster sections at the start and end of the stage, gravel surfaces and technical, switchback corners – the car just loved it. We were able to use full throttle and full charge from the battery, which was quite enjoyable.
“The last couple of days have served up non-stop, gruelling driving conditions compared to traditional gravel rallies, but the Outlander PHEV hasn’t missed a beat … [and] arrived in Exmouth last night filling ninth position on the leader board,” he said.
Yesterday (Wednesday) saw teams reach the halfway point of the Australasian Safari (having completed 1400 competitive kilometres), it also saw TMR and the Outlander PHEV move from 13th outright on Tuesday to ninth outright before having to sit out all of today’s racing.
At the time of writing the final results hadn’t been published, but Mitsubishi’s Shayna Welsh said the team has managed to catch up on some rest and will, with one and a half days and 465 kilometres left until the finish, look to make up lost ground.
“The good news is the Outlander PHEV was running in ninth position outright last night, and it’s all set to go tomorrow […] we’re all pretty excited,” Welsh said.