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Mitsubishi Team Ralliart, under the direction of team boss, Alan Heaphy, will enter two cars in the up-coming Mt Buller Sprint which will be held on the Victorian Melbourne Cup weekend of November 4, 5 and 6.

The cars, a full tarmac-spec Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 for Warwick Rooklyn and co-driver Linda Long, and the gravel-spec Evo 9 that was used in this year’s Australian Rally Championship, which will be driven by Scott Pedder and Glen Weston, should prove very competitive.

Heaphy told RallySport Magazine that as well as being a test of the car’s capabilities on bitumen, the event would be of benefit to Pedder  who has little tarmac experience.

“It’s important that we get some tarmac experience so that we’ll be on the pace should there be a tarmac round of the ARC next year,” Heaphy said.

“As well as that, the Forest Rally in Western Australia (usually the opening round of the ARC) has a bitumen special stage at Busselton, and we often lose around three or four seconds to the Toyotas, which is very hard to make up. More tarmac experience will help us to be on the pace right from the start,” he added.

Meanwhile, the team are waiting for confirmation of their rally plans for next year after having put in a number of options to the parent company.

“We are still awaiting their response to our submissions as we speak, and it’s promising that they are looking at this well before the 2007 season commences.”

Asked whether the plans included a second car and crew for the 2007 ARC, Heaphy was not prepared to comment, but said that there were many options and combinations available.

“It all comes down to Mitsubishi’s final decision,” he said. “We have to deal direct with Mitsubishi in Australia, where the funding comes from, but Mitsubishi in Japan are the ones who finally tick the boxes. In the meantime we have plenty of projects happening in the workshop to keep us busy.”
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