Mitsubishi Motors announced that Team Mitsubishi RALLIART, with technical support from Mitsubishi Motors, participated in the Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) 2022 that ran from November 21st to 26th in Thailand and Cambodia with Triton/Strada rally cars (Group T1 prototype cross-country vehicles). Over a total distance of 1,524 kilometers, including 637km of timed special stages (SS), driver Chayapon Yotha (Thailand) finished in first place overall, with a total time of 8 hours 22 minutes and 42 seconds, and driver Rifat Sungkar (Indonesia) finished in fifth position, at 17 minutes and 14 seconds behind the leader.
After a three-year absence, the AXCR got underway last November 21 in Buriram, in the northeastern part of Thailand, where the first Special Stage (SS) of the rally and a ceremonial start was held. Leg 1 on November 22 to Leg 3 on November 24 included the SS located in the harsh terrain of Buriram. Leg 4 on November 25 saw the rally cross the border into Cambodia, while Leg 5 on November 26 ended at the spectacular ceremonial finish near Angkor Wat, the famed tourist attraction in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The first half of the rally in Thailand consisted mainly of high-speed stages on rough, dry unpaved roads, while the second half was more challenging with large, deep puddles scattered on muddy roads caused by heavy rain, and a tougher course compared to the previous five stages awaited the participants in Cambodia.
Chayapon Yotha, driving car #105 Triton/Strada, finished fifth in SS1 on the first day. On the second day, he set the fastest time in SS2, the longest SS of this year’s AXCR with a 203km course, and climbed to the top overall position. After that, the powerful driving performance and nimble handling of the Triton/Strada helped him to finish SS3 in seventh, SS4 in sixth, SS5 in fifth, and SS6 in fifth, and he maintained the lead he had established in SS2 to take the overall win.
Rifat Sungkar in car #118 finished SS1 in sixth place following his teammate. He was aiming for higher positions, but after suffering a flat tire and subsequent damages to the chassis in SS2, he dropped to eighth position. The team’s repair work allowed him to continue the rally the next day, and he finished fourth in SS3, fifth in SS4, fourth in SS5, and seventh in SS6, completing the rally in fifth overall while proving the toughness of the Triton/Strada.
Sakchai Hantrakul in car #119 tested positive for Covid-19 after SS1 and, unfortunately, had to retire from the rally.
Hiroshi Masuoka, team director of Team Mitsubishi Ralliart, commented: “For this year’s AXCR, we built on the reliability and durability of the by Triton/Strada tuning the engine and chassis, and entered the rally with specifications relatively close to the production car. Even so, the two Triton/Strada rally cars delivered and I am very proud of our strong finish. The superb performance came down to the drivers, who were able to maximize the Triton/Strada’s capabilities. I would like to thank all not only the drivers, but also the engineers and service guys who worked every day to fine-tune the vehicles perfectly, all the staff who provided support, and the know-how that Mitsubishi Motors has accumulated over the years. The key to it all was the tremendous support from our sponsors and the passionate messages of support we received from fans around the world. We would like to share the knowledge we gained through our participation in the AXCR back into the development of production vehicles, and build Mitsubishi vehicles that are even tougher, more powerful, and more reliable.”
AXCR 2022 Auto Category Overall Results
- Chayapon Yotha (Mitsubishi Triton/Strada) 8:22:42
- Jaras Jaengkamolkulchai (Toyota Hilux Revo) 8:28:29
- Ikuo Hanawa (Toyota Fortuner) 8:28:34
- Takuma Aoki (Toyota Fortuner) 8:38:26
- Rifat Sungkar (Mitsubishi Triton/Strada) 8:39:56
- Tawee Neanna (Isuzu D-Max) 8:51:24
Daily reports AXCR special website
Daily reports from November 21st, the first day of the rally, to the last leg on November 26th are posted on Mitsubishi Motors’ AXCR special website. https://www.mitsubishi- motors.com/en/innovation/motorsports/axcr2022/