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Mitsubishi Ralliart Italy has responded to requests from customers to join the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, meaning that any Mitsubishi driver will now be eligible to score points on the series – starting from the Safari Rally in Africa this weekend.

Ralliart Italy will run customer cars on a number of events later in the year, with the Group N Lancer likely to prove a strong contender throughout the year.

“There has been a strong demand from our customers to make our cars eligible to score points on the IRC,” Ralliart Italy team manager, Mario Stagni, commented.

“We are delighted to respond to their requests on what is set to be a very exciting new championship this year,” he added.

The Safari Rally takes place over some of the most legendary terrain in Africa. While the rally remains as tough as ever, the route has very little to do with the car-breaking stages of the past.

Two Fiat Grande Punto S2000s are represented on the entry list, for Italian drivers Andrea Navarra and Umberto Scandola. For both drivers it will be the first time in Africa, although Navarra in particular has plenty of rally experience at the highest level.

As well as the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the Safari Rally – based in Kenya – is also the opening round of the African Rally Championship, meaning that the IRC competitors will face a number of accomplished local specialists, many of them with an ‘A’ seeding from the sport’s governing body, the FIA.

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