The 2012 season kicked off with a bang for MML Sports, the co-developer of the official Mitsubishi R4 kit for the Lancer EvolutionX rally car. Not only is the company running numerous rally programs around the world, it is also building rally cars to supply to individual drivers and teams globally.
The latest addition to its portfolio is a Mitsubishi Lancer EvoX R4 for the Jordan market. One car has already been built, shipped and demonstrated its prowess on the fist round of the Jordanian National Rally series, the 1st Jordanian Local Rally.
Local driver Alaa Kalifa set the early pace and following the retirement of Lebanese driver Roger Feghali, seemed to have the event win in the bag. However, a mistake on the final stage led to him going off the road and into retirement while holding a healthy lead.
The speed and reliability of the MML Sports Lancer R4 prompted the local agent to immediately contact MML Sports to discuss ordering another car, which is ready to be built for the second round of the series.
At least one car will also make three appearances on the FIA Middle East Rally Championship during the course of the year and hopes are high for success, thanks to the MMLS R4's clear pace on the desert stages.
While the first R4 for Jordan was being built, long-time MML Sports customer Bert de Jong from the Netherlands placed an order for a second Mitsubishi Lancer WRC for his son, Bob, to drive on the national series and around Europe.
Bert was the first and only customer to run a Lancer WRC in anything other than the now-familiar bright red livery, specifying his car to be finished in black.
In contrast, the car for Bob was specified in base white, making Bert him the owner of the only two Lancer WRCs not finished in the world-famous Mitsubishi red.
Commenting, MML Sports Managing Director John Easton said; "I'm delighted that Alaa was putting in such a good performance in the first round of the Jordanian series, particularly considering the level of competition there. I had a call from him at the event's first service saying he was leading the event overall and he was delighted. It's a real shame that he wasn't able to claim the result that seemed to be his for the taking.
"However, our car obviously impressed, as I had another call almost immediately after the event finished, to discuss ordering another Lancer EvoX R4, for the national series and also, to partner in the MERC. I am very excited by the prospect of seeing two of our cars on one of the biggest FIA regional rally championships in the world.
"It's also very gratifying to know that existing customers like Bert come back to us when they need another car. When he specified his in black, I wasn't sure how it would work but it is certainly very striking on the stages. And similarly, when he asked for the new car in white, I was very unsure but seeing the car in the flesh, it looks really good.
"It still feels a little strange for us to be preparing a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC in anything other than the red that made Mitsubishi famous. But I guess that's progress for you!"