Last weekend was a busy one for MML Sports, the company formed from the works Mitsubishi rally team. Not only was the company attending Rallyday in the UK, with former British Rally Champion Guy Wilks driving the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC on the Wiltshire circuit but it was also in action in Holland, with Bob de Jong on the Hellendoorn Rally.
MML Sports had been absent from Rallyday for several years but this year, was able to attend with both a Lancer WRC and one of its Group N Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX cars, for static display.
Guy Wilks was drafted in to drive the Lancer WRC on the feature stage at lunchtime, in front of thousands of eager rally fans. And he didn’t disappoint, performing huge slides and multiple donuts at the event, without the pressure of actual competition.
Guy is no stranger to MML Sports – he drove the Group N car in Latvia several times as the company was developing its own version. He took several guests out for passenger rides and admitted he enjoyed being back in a world rally car for the first time in several years.
Over the same weekend, the team was in action in Holland, for the Hellendoorn rally with national championship leader, Bob de Jong, at the wheel of his Lancer WRC.
He was on the pace from the word go, third fastest on the first two stages of the event to hold third overall approaching the third timed test, just six seconds off the lead.
However, with a potential podium in sight, he made a rare error on the third stage and went off the road, becoming stuck briefly before regaining the stage. He was able to continue but had lost more than 40seconds in the process, dropping him back to seventh by the end of the first leg.
He adopted a more conservative approach for the remainder of the event, eventually climbing back to sixth place overall by the end of the event’s 16 stages.
Commenting, MML Sports Managing Director John Easton said; “It was a bit of a mixed weekend for us. It was great being back at Rallyday but a shame to see Bob lose the time early on in the rally and miss out on what should have been a great result.
“Guy was, as we expected, on great form in the Lancer WRC. He was completely at home straight away and drove it like he’d been in the car all season. He destroyed a set of tyres sliding the car and doing donuts for the fans but that’s exactly what it is about – giving them something they can’t see anywhere else.
“The Group N car we had on display also created a huge amount of interest all day with a lot of enquires for parts and complete cars for the future.
“Bob seemed to be on good form at the start of the event but when he went off, it took him a while to get back on. By the time he did, the closeness of the competition meant that a podium finish was looking unlikely, so he decided to drive at a sensible pace and make sure he got to the finish and claimed additional points for the championship.”
The company’s next outing will be this coming weekend, as they will take part in the Mitsubishi lancer Register’s sprint event at the circuit at Hethel, home of Lotus, where they will run the Lancer WRC again.