A pair of solid podium results at the end of February has kick-started the rally season for MML Sports. The UK-based automotive and motorsport specialist had cars running in Europe and Africa and was delighted to assist two customer teams with a podium finish on each.
In Kenyan, reigning FIA African and Kenyan national Rally Champions, Team Kibos and driver Jassi Chatthe were contesting the first round of the Kenyan series, the Kajiado Rally. Chatthe had not competed since the final round of the 2015 season and adopted a measured approach to the event, feeling his way back into competition.
He put in a series of excellent stage performances and once again, the MML Sports-prepared and run Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX completed the event requiring only fuel and tyres. By the end of the rally, Chatthe was third, behind winner, former British and World Championship driver, Tapio Laukkanen and African rally veteran Ian Duncan second.
In Belgium, Chris van Woensel was competing on the Rally van Haspengouw, the first round of the national series, at the wheel of his recently-rebuilt Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 World Rally Car. He was relishing his prospects for the upcoming season, having shown excellent speed in 2015.
He immediately set the early pace on the event, adopting the lead and enjoying a fierce battle with fellow Belgian and former works Mitsubishi driver, Freddy Loix. However, despite a string of stage wins, he fell back en route and eventually finished his first event of 2016 in a solid third place.
Commenting, MML Sports Managing Director John Easton, said; “I am very pleased with the results we achieved on the first round of two series. Jassi did very well against Ian [Duncan], who is hugely experienced and has vast knowledge of the stages. And I think anyone will find it difficult to beat Tapio if he manages to finish a rally – he is also extremely fast and has a huge amount of experience.
“Chris also did very well in Belgium – it was great to see him able to show the kind of pace we know that he and the Lancer WRC05 is capable of running at and I know he really enjoyed battling with Freddy over the weekend. I doubt it will be long before we are celebrating a win with him”.
Another rally season begins soon for MML Sports as well, as the company will again be supporting Cyrille Feraud, as the likeable Frenchman contests the full French Gravel Rally Championship at the wheel of his ex-works Lancer WRC05. Finances meant he endured an infrequent season in 2015 but he begins this year with the commitment for a full season and a genuine campaign on the title.
His first event takes place on the first weekend in April.
Photo: Timothy David