MSA refers Mitsubishi case ..

 to MSC National Court

On Friday 11th December 2008, the Motor Sports Association made a formal referral to the MSC National Court for an inquiry as follows:

It appearing to the MSA from the presentation at the pre-event scrutineering at Wales Rally GB on the 3rd December 2008 of cars numbered 60 and 61, each of which being a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX group N class 4, crewed by Guy Wilks/Phil Pugh and Gwyndaf Evans/Gareth Roberts respectively and entered into Wales Rally GB by Mitsubishi Motors UK that:-

1)         There may have been a breach of the General Regulations of the MSA and/or

2)         The results of a competition namely the International Rally Yorkshire, held on the 26/27th September 2008 whose  results were made final on the 4th December 2008 and/or Wales Rally GB held on the 4th-7th December 2008 and whose results were made final on 7th December 2008 may have been incorrectly and/or improperly declared and/or

3)         Some other irregularity may have occurred

For the following reasons:

Namely that on the 26.11.08 the MSC National Court, when hearing an Appeal by Mitsubishi Motors UK relating to the International Rally Yorkshire 2008, was advised on behalf of Mitsubishi Motors UK, that, amongst other things, the standard/homologated steering column for the Mitsubishi Evolution IX had had to be replaced as the pinch bolt fixing of the standard/homologated component had been a serious problem from early 2005 and, that for example:

"The problem was that the steering wheel easily came loose under rally use when attached to the pinch bolt fixing on the steering column.  When the steering wheel worked loose it would simply spin round on the steering column without turning it.  The spines on the pinch nut fixing are very fine and do not enable the steering wheel to be fixed to the steering column securely enough for rally use." and

"We, therefore, changed the pinch bolt top fixing of that steering column for the standard Mitsubishi taper and nut fixing from the EVO VIII steering column, because the pinch bolt type fixing was clearly not suitable for rally use." and

"The modification to the top fixing of the steering column simply enables the driver to control the direction of car in a safe and proper manner and without risk of the pinch bolt fixing steering failure described above, which could have serious consequences for the driver, co-driver and spectators."

However, despite what the National Court was advised, seven days later on the 03.12.08 Mitsubishi Motors UK presented their cars for pre event scrutineering on Wales Rally GB, Britain's round of the World Rally Championship with the standard/homologated steering column.

The MSA hereby refers these matters to an MSC National Court Investigatory Tribunal for an Inquiry in accordance with the General Regulations and specifically Background to the Regulations paragraphs 26 and 21(ii) (Page 69 and 68 respectively in the Competitors' and Officials' Yearbook 2008).

For the avoidance of doubt this referral is within 60 days after publication of the final results for both International Rally Yorkshire and Wales Rally GB.

The General Regulations provide that after giving interested parties an opportunity to be heard, The National Court may make such order as it deems proper and if it concludes that a breach of the Regulations may have occurred, either order that the matter be referred to a subsequent National Court or alternatively deal with the matter itself and impose such penalty as it thinks fit.

The MSA will be making no further comment as it is now a matter for the National Court.

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