Mitsubishi set for WRC ‘muleta’ for 2001

Mitsubishi has been given a 'part seal of approval' from rival World Rally manufacturers to go ahead with building a 'semi' World Rally Car for the beginning of next season

Mitsubishi set for WRC ‘muleta’ for 2001

The Japanese marque still has to gain official permission from the FIA, but the Ralliart-run team is believed to have been given tacit backing at a recent meeting of the body of manufacturers, the Rallies Commission.

Mitsubishi confirmed last month that it intended to end its stint as the last manufacturer running to Group-A spec regulations to adopt the World Rally Blueprint rules for next year. However, the team was concerned the new car would initially be off the pace due a lack of development.

The use of a hybrid car would overcome this and the proposals would allow the team to use WRC-spec mechanicals, including engine parts and a revised rear suspension, at the Monte Carlo Rally in January next year.

In return for the lenience shown by the other manufacturers, it is thought Mitsubishi will have to be running a full WRC Lancer by next Autumn.

Ralliart team boss Phil Short declined to comment: "There are still fine details to be sorted and the idea still has to be passed by the FIA," he said, "so it would be inappropriate for me to talk about it at this stage."

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