Mpart AB has confirmed that one of its cars will compete for the first time on the Asian continent. The latest version of the rally prepared Mirage will take part in the Malaysian Rally, the fifth round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship that takes place on 29th & 30th October.
“There has been a great deal of interest in our car from teams, drivers, organisers and the media in Asia, so we have decided to enter the Malaysian round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship,” explained Tomas Weng, chief designer of the R5 and owner of Mpart AB. “As well as showcasing the car in the region, it will also provide us with a great opportunity to assess how it performs in the conditions that are found in this part of the world.”
Having been involved with the car’s test programme and, after driving it in competition earlier this year, former Finnish Rally Champion and experienced WRC competitor Jari Ketomaa will drive the R5 specification Mitsubishi in Malaysia. He will be co-driven by fellow countryman Mikko Lukka.
“Knowing how the Mitsubishi performs and what a great product it is, it’s important to be able to show what it can do in as many territories as possible – and the Asia Pacific region is one of them”, added Ketomaa. “The car has the speed and handling to do well, but with events such as the Malaysian Rally anything can happen and we have to be realistic as to what we can achieve out there.
“I really enjoy driving the Mitsubishi so I’m very much looking forward to competing in it again. I’m confident that it’s going to attract a lot of attention and we will do the best job we possibly can to make sure the car gets the result and exposure it deserves.”
Based in Johor, the two-day Malaysian Rally comprises a competitive distance of 227 kms, split into 14 special stages. The event takes place in the Tai Tak Palm Oil estates of Kota Tinggi and features a series of technically demanding roads set within a backdrop of stunning scenery. The high levels of humidity combined with the constant threat of sudden and torrential rain add to the challenges faced by competitors.