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Transiberico Rally: Alphand and Mitsubishi win in Portugal

It ended on Sunday in Beja, the 2008’s edition of Rali Vodafone Transibérico, event that counts both for the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, as well as the Portuguese National Championship, being the only with this statute in all Europe. After four leader changes, during an equal number of days, the fifth leg - connecting Ever to Escorial, passing by Beja, was at least the quiet one with all teams thinking only about how to get the final podium at Escorial.

Luc Alp hand was the leader in the beginning of the day, and only a great misfortune could withdraw him the victory, because he had 30 minutes of advantage over Nasser Al-Attiyah, so he only had to control the race and became the first Mitsubishi driver to won the Transibérico. The last win of a Mitsubishi in Portugal dates back to 2004 when the event was named Baja Vodafone 1000.

And if Alphand got no difficulties to grant the his win, Al-Attiyah had also no problems to keep the second position, but the driver of Qatar had a puncture during the morning, and lost the rear transmission during the afternoon in his BMW X3. Nothing to worry for the first leader of the race, because Filipe Campos (3rd) only had in his mind to be back at Estoril, and became the new leader of the Cross Country Portuguese Championship.

The Oporto’s driver fulfilled perfectly his "mission" - reported in the beginning of the championship, pointing the maximum score (23) taking advantage of the problems of Miguel Barbosa, who retired again today. Campos also got a podium at the end, and this was an achieve which he considered most difficult.

Fantastic race of Hélder Oliveira, who did the first race with the Nissan Pathfinder and finish in fourth position in front of Peterhansel. The "Mitsubishi star" made a mistake when he went off in the first SS of Friday, and stopped to dream about the victory.

By the way if we forget the win of Luc Alphand, the Mitsubishi Team would have no "reasons to smile" also because Joan Roma finished out of the 20 best, because of alternator problems - during Saturday’s leg - when he was the real winner candidate. Even so, the Spaniard left good signs about the value of the new Diesel engine of Mitsubishi. More calm was also the race of Leonid Novistsky with his new X-Raid BMW X3CC, who arrived the 6th place running in a good and safe way.

Ricardo Leal dos Santos was 7th overall, but he did not avoid some problems, like two punctures, reported by the driver - those races alone - as a lost of more than 20 minutes. Bad luck also for Pedro Grancha who lost a place in the top five, yesterday when he lost the front transmission, and had also a big brake problem.

The NIssan driver lost more than an hour in the first run by Mora, and in the last day he attacked, remaining the best national in the last leg, which allowed him to mark 17 points in the end of Transibérico.

After two days of big attack Edgar Condenso won the T2 class and during the weekend the team only managed his advantage over all the other, achieving an important win regarding the Cross Country Rally Cup, with Jorge Plácido in an excellent 2nd place in T2.

The race was reminded by everyone as very difficult, with mud and lots of rain, and all the "big stars" driving for the official teams were unanimous, when they gave the congratulations to the organizers, by the excellent organization level of the entire race.

2008/05/27 | 17:26 CET | Editor: MR/HS/ACP Motorspor

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