MML Sports, the company created from the former works Mitsubishi World Rally Team, has proved invaluable in securing a second FIA CODASUR South American Rally Championship title for Gustavo Saba from Paraguay. Driving a Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX using the official Mitsubishi R4 conversion, developed jointly by MML Sports, Saba dominated the five-round series to claim his second title in two years.
The South American Rally Championship comprised five rounds in 2012, in Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay. Saba's season began auspiciously, when he retired from the first round, his home event the Rally Trans Itapua, with a rare mechanical component failure.
However, he soon put the record straight, with a convincing win on the Rally Erechim in Brazil in May and followed that up with another win in July, on the Rally Santa Cruz in Bolivia. He took second on the penultimate round, the Rally de Apostoles in Argentina before rounding off the season with another win on the final round, Rally del Atlantico in November.
He and co-driver Victor Aguilera, who won the co-driver category, notched up 166.5 points over the course of the season, compared to their closest rival, Sebastien Abramian who claimed 108.
What makes the win even more impressive is that during the season, Saba and Aguilera faced a brace of lighter Super2000 rally cars, including the Toyota S2000 and the Ford Fiesta S2000, triumphing in their clearly more competitive Mitsubishi.
Commenting, MML Sports Managing Director John Easton said; "I am delighted to offer our congratulations to Gustavo and Victor on their second consecutive win in the highly-competitive FIA CODASUR South American Rally Championship.
"Other than the first event, where they retired with a rare clutch failure, they were completely dominant in the series. The combination of their outright speed and the strength and reliability of the MML Sports R4-specification Lancer EvolutionX proved the class of the field, with a winning points margin of more than 50% over their nearest rival.
"I am also very pleased that they were able to demonstrate that the Mitsubishi Lancer EvoX, using the MML Sports R4 conversion kit, is definitely competitive against the lighter Super 2000 cars.
"Not only did we supply Gustavo with the R4 kit for his car but also, were able to help him with set-up advice. Initially, he was a little sceptical, as the settings we suggested, developed by Jari Ketomma on our own R4 car, were very different to what he had been using. However, he tried these settings and was immediately impressed by the car's improved stability, particularly in high-speed sections that form many of the series' stages.
"We look forward to supporting Gustavo next year, when he looks for his third CODASUR title."