Mitsubishi are considering a return to the World Championship as early as next season, in the Manufacturer 2 class.

"The target for us now is to return to the WRC in 2007 as an M2 team,” confirmed Mitsubishi Motors Motorsport Operations Director John Easton. “We plan to use the car which we would have introduced this year, had Mitsubishi not withdrawn. We know that car is quicker than the version we are currently using for customers. I feel that with the drivers we have in mind, we should be challenging for podiums on a regular basis."

After this transition period, Mitsubishi are expected to return to the Manufacturer 1 category.

"The initial aim was to get the car ready for the start of the 2008/9 split season but realistically, we'll probably go for 2009,” explained Easton. “On paper, the new Lancer Evolution X looks good - we feel that it will make a world rally car that is a significant step forward for Mitsubishi."

In the meantime, Mitsubishi are getting ready for Rally Finland, with a solid trio of drivers: Daniel Carlsson, Juha Hanninen and Jussi Valimaki.

"It should be a good event,” mentioned Easton. “We know Daniel is quick and knows the car and Jussi is also fast. Juha is a bit of an unknown but he will be doing the Tampere rally in a Step 2 Lancer, while Jussi will do it in a WRC. Juha has been very quick in Group N but this will be his first time in a World Rally Car."

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