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Por las Pampas 2007 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Por las Pampas Patagonia Atacama Rally 2007, 3rd round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Por las Pampas: Mitsubishi stay on the top after Leg 3 in Chile

The third stage of the 2007 Por Las Pampas Rally had to be interrupted today when the bike competitors, who were first on the road, faced the risk of running out of beach as high waves and the rising tide forced them increasingly closer to the cliff-face to their right.

The organisers took the decision to stop the test at kilometre 137 after a morning spent alternating between fast, good quality gravel roads and more beach driving. The times given for the stage were those recorded up to Passage Control 3 (km110) which handed a third consecutive fastest time to Mitsubishi’s Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard (both France). The French pair now enjoy a lead of 57-minutes over their closest chasers.

From kilometre 137, crews were instructed to continue to the neutralisation (km187) via an asphalt road, and from there take the same route as the service vehicles to the overnight halt in Pichilemu, approximately 200km further north.

"We were running some time behind the first bikers so we didn’t find ourselves in the same delicate situation as them," pointed out Luc Alphand. "It’s a shame because it was another nice stage and we were going well, but it was probably a wise decision.

"Gilles did another good job with the navigation today and we are also reaping the benefit of the positive work done during the team’s test session in Morocco in July," continued the 2006 Por Las Pampas Rally winner. "Our Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR13 has improved on a number of fronts, notably its traction and suspension. It is ideal for the twisty, narrow roads we have encountered so far here in Chile, and it is particularly effective over the dunes and along the sandy beaches. We have profited from the bivouacs to fine-tune the set-up as we go along because I’m getting a little bit of understeer, but nothing serious at all. It’s simply a case of trying to perfect the car’s already outstanding handling."

Tomorrow’s leg (Friday) is one of the shortest of the event and takes crews 292km further north, more or less level with the Chilean capital, Santiago. In addition to the day’s 90km stage, competitors will visit the mythical port of Valparaiso, where a passage control is planned, before concluding the day with a 3km spectator stage on the beach in Vina del Mar. This short showpiece will take place after nightfall with the lights of Valparaiso just across the bay serving as an exotic backdrop.

2007/08/31 | 11:05 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Mitsubishi

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