Following a short break for Christmas and New Year, 2014 got off to a fast start for MML Sports, the UK-based motorsport preparation specialist. The company is preparing rally cars for three new competition programmes, as well as continuing two existing programmes with cars re-prepared over the short winter break.
Following a series of successful meetings in the run-up to Christmas, the company has recently completed two brand new Group N Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX rally cars; one for use in the Kenyan Rally Championship and one for the FIA African Rally Championship.
Both cars will be driven by Jaspreet ‘Jassi’ Chatthe, who last year contested both series in another EvoX. He achieved a series of consistent finishes in the Kenyan series, claiming second and third places. He also contested three events in the African series but car failure on each meant three retirements.
MML Sports is preparing two Group N Lancer EvoXs, one for each of the two series and each with a bespoke livery, although to identical Safari specifications. The African championship, in particular, features several famous events, including the Cote d’Ivoire and the Safari Rally Kenya, both of which place enormous stresses and strains on competing cars.
However, with its experience and expertise, born out of decades competing in the FIA World Rally Championship, MML Sports is confident that it will be able to provide Chatthe with a car that is both reliable and competitive.
The company has also agreed terms with French driver Cyrille Feraud to supply him with a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC to contest the French Gravel Rally Championship in 2014. The car will belong to Feraud but will be run on-event by MML Sports for the duration of the season and any testing Feraud undertakes.
Feraud contested the French championship for the last five years, finishing 10th in 2013 at the wheel of a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer EvoX. However, the upgrade to the Lancer WRC will enhance his chances of event podiums and of a good result in this year’s championship.
The company will again run Bob de Jong’s Lancer WRC as the newly-crowned Dutch Rally Champion targets a season of competition in Belgium while the Simpsons’ Motors Suzuki SX4 WRC will again compete in the Caribbean, with Neil Armstrong at the wheel.
Commenting, MML Sports Managing Director, John Easton, said; “If the start of the year is anything to go by, then it will be our busiest yet. To build two brand new cars for the African and Kenyan championships is one thing. To be running both cars on-event is something else altogether and we are very excited to be back rallying on the African continent this year.
“We are also looking forward to working with Cyrille in the French gravel championship with a Lancer WRC world car. We met with Cyrille just before Christmas and he is very keen to start working on the series, ahead of the first of the six rounds in April.
“I’m very happy that we will be working with Bob again this year; he did very well last year to win the Dutch championship and is now keen to move into Belgium to try to do the same there. The Simpsons Motors team is also going to be competing again this year with Neil Armstrong in the Suzuki SX4 WRC that we developed and I’m keen to see that succeed in both the regional and national events.”