It’s not rocket science to see the fact that German car maker Volkswagen has dominated the latest edition of the Dakar Rally in great fashion. The South American event this year was practically an all-VW affair all the way, only the racer driving it being the unknown factor in the 2009 equation.
That’s probably why Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi chose to withdraw from the event completely at the end of the 2009 rally. Although there may be some other reasons behind that decision – the economic downturn cannot be neglected also – what’s certain is the fact that the aforementioned constructor will not be joining the Dakar caravan as a works team from now on.
However, in terms of private efforts, it was today confirmed that French firm JMB Stradale purchased no less than 5 Mitsubishi Pajeros in order to field them in the 2010 Dakar Rally, an event hosted for the second time in a row by the South American continent (and based in Argentina).
JMB’s team will be comprised of drivers Carlos Sousa, Miguel Barbosa, Guilherme Spinelli, Orlando Terranova, Nicholas Mislin (who will also be team owner), alongside team manager Dominique Serieys.
This comes as a natural progression of the Mitsubishi Motor Sport buyout by the Eligroup company, represented by Mislin, in late September. MMS was the cross country sport entity of the Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and, following the aforementioned buyout, was renamed “Stradale Off Road SAS.”
In order to become competitive in the 2010 edition of the Dakar Rally, Stradale will also make some important changes in terms of engine development on their Pajeros, meaning a switch from diesel power to gasoline power plants.
“We have replaced the Lancer’s diesel motor with a gas engine, because the costs of getting the most out of diesels are very high. So, we will have to try to distinguish ourselves on the difficult stages, with lots of obstacles. But there are at least 20 credible cars capable of finishing in the top 10,” said Mislin, according to Autosport.