After an extremely successful first year of operation, MML Sports Ltd has just taken orders for four brand new Group N Mitsubishi EvolutionX rally cars and potentially, two more programs for the Lancer WRC05.
The first order comes from two Russian drivers, looking to put together a program for the Latvian Rally Championship. However, this is far more than a traditional rally program. The customer has never driven a rally car before, except when he was bitten by the bug on a recent corporate event. He was recommended to MML Sports and has now charged the company with every aspect of his fledgling career.
This involves not only preparing two brand new Gp N EvoX but also, running the car on-event and providing the highest levels of hospitality. In addition, because the crew has absolutely no experience, MML Sports will be conducting a full driver and co-driver training program, using the very highest calibre of British drivers and co-drivers to teach the new combination the skills of the sport.
Commenting, MML Sports Managing Director John Easton said; “We are delighted to have been recommended and subsequently chosen to run this program. I gather that the gentleman in question was faced with one of the age-old problems – how do I go rallying if I’ve never done it before? Certainly, he could buy a car and go but he decided it was sensible to approach a professional team and be trained in all aspects of the sport and to do things properly.
“We haven’t confirmed who we will be using yet but I would imagine that in terms of driver training, it would be someone like Mark Higgins and for the co-driver, someone experienced like David Senior or Daniel Barritt. It would have to be top level, WRC people to stand the best chance of success.”
Hot on the heels of this program is another, this time based in Madeira. A well-known motorsport team on the Portuguese island has commissioned two Gp N EvoXs for the island’s tarmac championship in 2010. This will again involve build and supply of the two cars, as well as on-event technical assistance from MML Sports. Interest from Madeira came about from a recent addition to the MML Sports website. The company has added not only a price list of set-specification cars but also, an interactive car builder, allowing potential customers to build their ideal car and spares package and know exactly what the cost will be.
Easton said; “I am delighted that this innovation on our website has proved its worth within weeks of launch. It allows potential customers to know exactly what their rally car will cost and budget for their season accurately and transparently. We are looking forward to working with our colleagues in Madeira for this season.”
There has also been significant interest in the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 World Rally Cars, in both east and Western Europe. MML Sports is close to agreeing terms to run a car in the Slovakian Rally Championship, which shares three rounds with the Hungarian series, where the WRC05 has already clearly demonstrated its winning ways.
And it has also received interest from teams looking to run drivers in several continental championships, again based on success of the Lancer in 2009, where it has led or won rallies in every country that it has competed.
Summing up, Easton said; “2009 was a fantastic first year for MML Sports Ltd. We ran a variety of talented drivers in various countries and we were very pleased with the performance and reliability of the cars. The Gp N EvoX is also looking very promising – our car showed excellent potential in Latvia and the two Indonesian cars did very well on their first outing. We have been continuously developing the EvoX and feel that it will be capable of rally wins in 2010.
“What is more encouraging however, is the feedback from our existing customers and the amount of new business we are now working on for this year. People we have run last year are coming back for bigger programs for this year and with the programs in Latvia and Madeira, I could not have hoped for a better end to our first year in business.”
The company also exhibited its Group N Lancer EvolutionX at the recent Autosport International show at the NEC, the world’s premier motorsport show. It was invited to display the car on the Motorsport Insurance Services stand, drawing attention from visitors as one of the focal points.