Panizzi signs for Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi has confirmed that it has signed asphalt ace Gilles Panizzi for 2004. The 37-year-old will replace British driver Alister McRae when the squad return to the World Championship full-time next year.

Panizzi signs for Mitsubishi

As a six-times rally winner, Panizzi is not eligible to continue with his third driver role at Peugeot under the 2004 regulations.

"Joining Mitsubishi is a perfect solution for me," commented Panizzi. "I have long stated that I wanted a full WRC programme and am very pleased to be joining a team that has such a successful heritage in the sport."

Mitsubishi hope his arrival will be the start of a more concerted WRC effort, according to Mitsubishi Europe sporting boss Sven Quandt.

"We are taking our return to the sport very seriously and Gilles is part of our commitment to a successful future," said Quandt. "His talent on asphalt is unmatched and he has proved to be a mounting force on loose surfaces."

Panizzi will continue to co-drive with his brother Herve. The press release from Mitsubishi confirmed that it has decided not to renew the contract of Alister McRae, who has been with the team since 2002.


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