Last weekend marked the competitive debut of Cusco’s Lancer EVO Xs at the MSCC Tokyo Rally. But it wasn’t such a stunning debut for the two cars that will line-up next month for Rally Hokkaido.
Held in the Fukushima prefecture, Hiroshi Yanagisawa and Yuya Sumiyama drove the EVO Xs they’ll use for the Asia Cup events this year. But in the wet conditions they both struggled to extract pace from their new cars. Yanagisawa, who last year threatened to score his maiden victory in the APRC, finished day one in 5th place but 40 seconds off the leader Fumio Nutahara. Sumiyama could do no better than 9th, more than a minute from the lead after Saturday’s three stages.
Sunday saw a further ten stages, and while Sumiyama was able to make up positions to complete the event in 7th place, engine problems saw an early end to Yanagisawa’s rally. Forced to slow during stage 6, he continued for another few stages but was eventually forced to stop during stage 11.
The Cusco team will now regroup ahead of Rally Hokkaido, and attempt to improve the performance of their cars using the information gleaned from Rally Tokyo.
MSCC Tokyo Rally, Final Results
1. Fumio Nutahara, ADVAN-PIAA Lancer, 41:52.5
2. Ishida Masashi, Lancer, +22.4
3. Ooshima Haruo, Lancer Racing, +51.6
4. Iwashita Yoshikazu, +59.5
5. Ishida Masayuki, POTENZA Lancer, +1:15.0
6. Hukunaga Osamu, HASEPURO Lancer, +1:23.8
7. Yuya Sumiyama, Cusco Lancer Evo X, +1:45.4
Photos courtesy of cusco.co.jp