Mitsubishi joins makers like Honda, Audi, Porsche, Suzuki, Subaru, and Kawasaki in pulling out of some form of motorsports because of... well, do we really need to say it? Neither the Mitsubishi Pajeros that won the Dakar Rally twelve times in total (out of 26 attempts), nor the diesel Racing Lancer that earned a seventh place in this year's race, will be seen plying the sands again any time soon. The Japanese automaker has ended its factory efforts in order to focus on its core business. Having stamped its red rhombus logo all over the Dakar after seven consecutive Dakar victories, its presence will be sorely missed come 2010. Official press release after the jump.
Wednesday, 04 February 2009, 0500 GMT
MITSUBISHI MOTORS TO WITHDRAW FROM DAKAR RALLY AND ALL CROSS-COUNTRY RACES
* 26 entries, 12 victories, including 7 consecutive wins
* Deterioration in global economy forces decision
* Includes the Dakar Rally, Dakar Series and all cross-country races
TOKYO, February 4, 2009 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today their decision to withdraw from the Dakar Rally, the Dakar Series and all cross-country rallies.
In its twenty-six entries in the event, Mitsubishi Motors won the rally a total of twelve times, including seven consecutive victories. In addition to this unparalleled record the company also gained 4WD technology that informs its production vehicles, most visible in their durability and off road performance.
The sudden deterioration of the global economy made it necessary for the company to focus its resources more tightly, and for this reason the decision was taken to withdraw its Mitsubishi Motorsports (MMSP) works team from all cross-country competitions.