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Mitsubishi Terminates WRC Program
Written by: Cassio Cortes Rugby, UK – 12/14/2005
Mitsubishi became the fourth manufacturer to withdraw from the 2006 World Rally Championship season, as it confirmed this Wednesday that it is suspending it WRC program without a certain date to come back – although it intends to be able to mount a return by ‘08. The Mitubishi Motors company has been struggling financially for the past few years, and is expected to again lose money in its worldwide operations in the 2005 fiscal year.
The Japanese firm thus joins the likes of Citroen, Peugeot and Skoda in departing the sport, leaving only Ford and Subaru to battle for next year’s manufacturer’s crown. Citroen will return as a full works effort in ‘07, while Peugeot will focus on an assault at Le Mans and Skoda will offer partial support to a new Red Bull-backed team that will contest only the WRC’s European rounds next season.
“With the Mitsubishi Motors Revitalization Plan as a basis, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has made a solid start toward revitalizing its business operations,” the company said in a statement.
“However, to strengthen and build upon this base, MMC realizes that it must focus management resources on the continued promotion of the revitalization plan. Mitsubishi hopes to return to the WRC form 2008, after the completion of the three-year revitalization plan, which covers fiscal years 2005 to 2007.”
Mitsubishi’s withdrawal means drivers Gigi Galli, Harri Rovanpera and Gilles Panizzi join the unemployment ranks. Other 2005 works drivers still looking for rides are Peugeot’s Markko Martin, Citroen’s Francois Duval – tipped for one of the Red Bull-Skoda seats – Ford’s Toni Gardemeister and Roman Kresta and Skoda’s Colin McRae.
For those of you wondering why it took me so long to “fall back,” it’s because my watch (Swatch Irony Diaphane Chrono) is a pain to set precisely. I can only set it at the top of an hour. Getting the seconds’ hand and the minutes and seconds dials to work together like…well, clockwork, is not easy to do!
I’m thinking about trying to do a something similar to what Alex Kwan (Xanga: TenThousandPoetWarriors) used to do (and still does?) with his entries. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what he does, he used to go through letters of the alphabet or numbers and share thoughts on the respective one he had selected for the day. I’m thinking about doing something along those lines but with automobiles or my cap (as in headwear) collection. I’ve also entertained the thought of trying to share driving tips with all of you out there in Xanga-land or Stong Badia.
Here’s how you can help me help you. Please vote:
1 – Automobiles
2 – Caps/Lids/Hats
3 – Driving tips
4 – Other (sports stories?)
Here’s a quick sample of each:
Automobile of the Day:
Photo from http://www.hyperdream.com/~samw/stealth/carpics/122-2281_img.htm
The Dodge Stealth R/T was the first car I fell in love with around 1991-1992. It had a twin-turbo 3.0L 24-valve DOHC V-6 producing 300 horsepower. It also had all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. Some of you may know that it used the same chassis and powertrain as the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4. My love for the Stealth did not last long however. The fourth-generation 1993 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 soon knocked it off the top perch.
Cap of the Day:
The cap pictured above is similar to one of my favorite caps. The one I have is blue San Diego Padres cap with the same Stars and Stripes on it. Here’s a larger picture (courtesy of Ted Kau) of me wearing it. The cap I have has the autographs of Geoff Moore (obtained May 26, 2002) and Steven Curtis Chapman (obtained February 26, 2003). The neat story behind it is that Steven actually recognized Geoff’s signature on it! That made my day!
Driving with Fog Lights On When No Fog is Out:
Simply, don’t do it! Please! There are few things more annoying than receiving the glare of fog lights from oncoming traffic or seeing the same glare in your interior rear view mirror. If you vehicle has a switch for it, please turn them off. I understand that some cars automatically turn them on with low beam headlight usage. For those of you who can control it though, please help all of us. The 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan I drive has a separate switch for the fog lights! By keeping them off, you preserve the fog lights’ bulb lives. ***More importantly, driving with your fog lights on focuses your eyes on the road immediately in front of your vehicle instead of on the road well ahead where your eyes should be constantly scanning and analyzing the environment around you. Keeping your eyes further up the road enhances one’s situational awareness and would do a lot more toward avoiding any potential accidents than having your fog lights on would ever do 99.9% of the time.***