LUC ALPHAND PROVISIONALLY LEADS THE 2008 RALI TRANSIBERICO FOR MITSUBISHI AFTER FINAL STAGE.
Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (France) safely completed the final stage of the Rali Transiberico on top of the provisional leaderboard. Only the last 213.37km road section to the official finish in Estoril now stands between Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart and the first win of its 2008 campaign.
The Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR13 driver has a margin of 35 minutes over his closest rival, but he is fully aware that victory won't be in the bag until the French crew has checked into the final control in the celebrated casino resort west of Lisbon.
Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cotteret (France) led a Mitsubishi one-two-three on the final stage of the event (SS9, 165.08km) and have every chance of picking up fifth place, although long-time leaders Juan 'Nani' Roma/Lucas Cruz (Spain) will finish outside the top-ten after being delayed by mechanical trouble on Saturday.
The Spaniards will be comforted, however, by the facts that they led for much of the week and that they also gave the new diesel-powered Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR14 its first three stage wins on a major cross-country rally, barely one month after the newcomer's debut on April's Central Europe Rally.
PROVISIONAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER SS9
1. Luc Alphand (MITSUBISHI PAJERO/MONTERO EVOLUTION)
- 16:25:28 (+**:**:**.*)
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah (BMW X3 CC)
- 17:01:14 (+35:46)
3. Filipe Campos (BMW X3 CC)
- 17:11:25 (+45:57)
4. Helder Oliveira (NISSAN PATHFINDER)
- 17:33:54 (+1:08:26)
5. Stephane Peterhansel (MITSUBISHI PAJERO/MONTERO EVOLUTION)
- 17:38:33 (+1:13:05)
6. Leonid Novistsky (BMW X3 CC)
- 17:58:01 (+1:32:33)
7. Pedro Grancha (NISSAN NAVARA OFF)
- 18:40:06 (+2:14:38)
8. Antonio Mendes (NISSAN NAVARA)
- 19:42:48 (+3:17:20)
9. Ricardo Leal dos Santos (BMW X5)
- 20:30:34 (+4:05:06)
10. Bernardo da Maia (BMW X3 CC)
- 20:40:23 (+4:14:55)
11. Manuel Plaza (MITSUBISHI L200)
- 21:11:17 (+4:45:49)
12. Joan Roma (MITSUBISHI PAJERO/MONTERO EVOLUTION)
- 24:30:55 (+8:05:27)
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