Joey@WORKS On Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Newry Maine, July 19th 2010 - WORKS Motorsports traveled across the United States to compete in Round 6 of the Rally America National series. With two month between their last event in Mt hood Oregon Lars Wolfe, motorsports director and driver of the WORKS 2010 Mitsubishi RalliArt, made the decision to go for the last round of the 2010 calendar. “It’s a long drive for us and we do not have a chance for a championship or anything, but its important that we go.” Said Lars after arriving at Sunday River resort, the head quarters of the New England Forest Rally.

The team is coming off a disappointing 2009 season with 2 major crashes that set them back the entire season. But when Mitsubishi Motor America presented them with 2010 RalliArt there was only one direction to go. Along with BFGoodrich and GO PRO HD Camera’s a new team was built from the ground up. The first 2 rallies were shake downs for the car and the crew on figuring out what combinations would make the team faster. The team’s normal crew was not able to assist the team this year so a whole new team had to be put together. And with the help of WORKS employee Josh Hellem, friend Scot Langford, and Gary Grahn the team was complete for the trip to go cross country and compete.

Throughout the season there was the looming question of the new Mitsubishi SST duel clutch transmission. This transmission has never been driven under these conditions and was a big concern for the team. With help from South Side Performance the transmissions’ internals were enhanced to take the rigors of Rally. Next was the team in the car. With many ups and down pairing driver and co-driver this year, Lars’ biggest concern was getting the right Co-driver for this event. A chance introduction paired up Jake Blattner and Lars. Jake, a retired Pro Snowboarder turned rally Co-driver, has had success in many high level teams in past years and took it upon him self to help complete with this up and coming team. “I’ve seen Lars and his team for some time now at rally events; and after talking with him it just felt like the right thing to do, there’s an energy and excitement that I think is a perfect match for me and that I don’t see in many teams any more” Jake said before starting Recce on Thursday morning.

After a long 12 hours in the car together during Recce, or stage reconnaissance, Jake and Lars perfected the notes and communication that would make them fast during the event. This is by far the most important time for a new pairing. It’s when the driver and co-driver to learn what motivates each other at a comfortable pace and allows them to perfect certain corners, creating a language that will in the end enhance trust. And after two months of tireless car prep the team was ready for the 2010 New England Forrest Rally.

With the starting of 64 cars in the field, the largest turnout in years, the team found themselves starting 26th on the road. The first day went surprisingly smooth. At the first reseed, or reposition of start order, the team moved up to 23rd. A thunderstorm moved in late in the day keeping everyone on their toes and adjusted pace to meet the changing conditions. “That’s the most difficult thing about rally,” Jake said after stage, “you can start a stage in perfect dry conditions and half way threw it can start poring and we have to totally change our driving style to match the new conditions.” The heat and humidity was a huge surprise at over 100 degrees F and with 95% humidity. “Rally is a constant test, not only driving but weather and road changes, and focus has to be on at all times. That’s what keeps me coming back to this sport.” Lars said at the end of the first day of competition.

Saturday was the final day of competition for the rally. Jake and Lars’ communication rose to the next level and speed increased as they found themselves climbing up the leader board. Every stage was a challenge to the car and the team. The roads were rough and the choice had to be made on the fly to pick a path through the rough stages or power through risking a broken car and not finish. With over 100 miles of competitive road passed, Jake and Lars made their way back to the finish and after two days of grueling heat and humidity sporadic thunderstorms that changed stages from dust to mud, move from 26th to 11th overall and 5th in class. “This has been a huge learning experience this year. It has been a year of finding the right people and putting them in the right spot. I think we have that now and all we are going to do is get better.” Lars said at the finish of the 2010 New England Forrest Rally.

WORKS Motorsport would like to extend the greatest thanks to BFGoodrich this year for supplying the best bolt on performance and give them the biggest advantage possible. Go PRO cameras for giving us the ability to show the world what type of sport Rally is. This event would not have been possible without their help. We also thank Mitsubishi Motors for the car to show the world what it’s capable of competition. SSP Performance for giving us the best possible parts for an untested transmission, Hot bits suspensions, Lab 17 vinyl graphics, Whiteline suspension components, All points Petroleum, Anzo Lighting, As well as to all the family members, friends and co-workers without them this season would not have been possible.

Thank you and see you all next season.
WORKS Motorsports Team

Joey@WORKS On Friday, June 4, 2010

Hey everyone, we have been receiving some questions and interest about the build of our rally car so we decided to go ahead and post the spec list for the ralliart! Let us know if you have any questions!

Mitsubishi 4B11T motor
• WORKS High Flow Air Filter
• WORKS Cold Air Intake
• WORKS P2 ecu Flash (with anti-lag)
• 3” straight pipe exhaust made by WORKS
• EVO X turbo/piping/intercooler
• Royal Purple racing oil

• Mitsubishi TC-SST Twin Clutch Transmission
• SSP Transmission Cooler
• SSP 400 HP Power Package Clutch Packs
• SSP Oil Pan

• Hot Bits Rally Coilover Suspension
• Whiteline Front and Rear Sway bars
• OZ Rally Wheels
• BF Goodrich Rally Tires

• WORKS Teflon-Kevlar-Stainless Steel Line Kit
• Front Endless Brake Pads

• Evo X Rear Wing
• Graphics by LAB17

• Custom light weight dash
• Custom WORKS Roll cage built to Rally America specs
• Sparco Seats
• 6 Point Harness


Joey@WORKS On Thursday, May 20, 2010

WORKS Rally participated in their second event in the 2010 Rally America season, The Oregon Trail Rally. This is a particularly challenging race and the attrition showed just that. The event started on Friday night at Portland International Raceway. Covering some of the famous race track and much of the surrounding service roads, that makes some of the best spectator stages on the Rally America schedule. 63 cars participated Friday night, and by the end of Saturday’s stages only 24 competitors were out of the race.

Finishing the Olympus Rally a month earlier WORKS Motorsport was really excited to get to Oregon and show that the car and the team was ready to take the fight to the remaining Rally America season in Pennsylvania and Maine. With only minor servicing to the car by the team the car and Lars Wolfe WORKS rally driver was ready for the race.

Thinking the team was firmly in place, a scheduling conflict took Jon Burke out of the right seat. In the last moments before the cut off for not being able to make the event Tina Warner, a local of sorts, stepped into the co-driver’s seat. And once at the event Lars and Tina recced the stages and were super excited about what was to come.”The stages start super rough and are going to be car killers if not careful, but if you make it past those the rest of the weekend stages will be some of the most fun stages so far!”Lars Wolfe was heard saying after recce Thursday night.

Friday night at PIR was conservative for the team. “On these types of stages you can never win the Rally but you can lose the whole thing.” Crew chief Scot Langford, said after the only service of the night. WORKS went out on the new BFGoodrich KDW T/A to see if the aggressive design of the tire could stand up to the rigors of multi surface stages. The tires showed that they were up for anything as we clicked off consistent times for the night. By the end of the night the car and crew were in good shape and with only a quick check over they were ready for the two days of forest stages to come. Unfortunately, Tina Warner did not fare so well and came off the nights stages with a 104 temp and a visit to the local hospital.

Park expose started Saturday at 10am in The Dalles, Oregon. Fans came from all over to see off the 62 competitors to the day’s stages. Even after a visit to the hospital Tina Warner, the team’s co-driver, fought through what had happened and jumped in the car eager to start the days stages. The weather wasn’t going too much of a factor this weekend; sunny and hot was the forecast and we made the perfect choice of tires with the help of BFGoodrich.

As predicted, the first stages were some of the roughest encountered so far for the car and the team opted to pick and choose the carful path through the rough stuff to make it to the fast stages, where they know the car can really show its design. And by the end of the day, with no major issues, Lars’s prediction of the days stages being a car killer were seen by many competitor with nearly 1/3 of the racers out, Ken Block and Dave Mirra being just a couple of the names out for the weekend.

The last day started; much like the first at 10am but now in Dufur, OR. The sleepy little town pulled out all the stops for us. We made our way out to the stages where the fun was about to start. We battled our way up to 5th in class as Lars and Tina started to get a rhythm in the car. But with a communication error we received a 3:30 penalty for speeding on a transit from stage to stage. With this error we found ourselves drop to 9th in class. Without the race mileage left in the weekend we knew the only way to make up positions was to stay consistent and position ourselves for further attrition. With the weather getting hotter in the car communication became tougher and tougher for Lars and Tina. We did not find out until later that Tina had a case of pneumonia, but even through that she stayed in the car and gave her best. Communication between the driver and co-driver is of the most important aspect of this type of racing. These few mistakes can drop the confidence in the driver and slow them down. But in the end we finished the race moving up three more positions resulting in a 6th in class and 13th over all.

We are still learning how hard we can push the car and the transmission. The Mitsubishi RalliArt SST has been an exciting car to start rallying and we are looking forward to making it to the rest of the Rally America events. Special thanks to BFGoodrich, SSP, Hotbits suspension, Allpoints Petrolium, Royal Purple oils, Whiteline suspension components, and Lab 17.

Joey@WORKS On Saturday, May 15, 2010

The car is performing well so far. We have some photos and videos we will be uploading soon. The car sounds a lot different from every other car out there!

Joey@WORKS On Friday, May 14, 2010

WORKS will be at the Oregon Trail Rally with Rally America this weekend. Tonight the event will start at Portland International Raceway at 6. We have WORKS Grab shift knobs, license plate frames, and boost hoses for Brain Flashes. Come watch the Ralliart in it's second event!

Joey@WORKS On Tuesday, May 4, 2010

WORKS Rally made it into a few video collages made by fans at the Olympus Rally. Check em out!

At 2:19

At 1:28

Joey@WORKS On Monday, May 3, 2010

Every event Rally America holds a photo contest, which is open to all who attend. The WORKS Ralliart made it into the Olympus Rally Photo Contest! Cast your vote and help WORKS gain more notoriety!


Sonoma, California - April 30, 2010

WORKS Rally finished our debut event for the 2010 Rally America Series at the world famous Olympus Rally in Washington. It has also been almost a year since our driver, Lars Wolfe, had been on the trail. 51 teams entered in the event this year, but only 18 made it to the end. WORKS Rally was one of those lucky 18.

The choice to prepare a Lancer Ralliart instead of an Evolution was well thought out but we knew that certain preparations needed to be made right from the start. The two main hurdles were the TC-SST twin-clutch transmission and the rear suspension. We took the necessary steps to reinforce the transmission clutch packs since no one has yet to successfully run a twin-clutch transmission in rally. We saw this as a risk worth taking since many rally cars in WRC utilize sequential shift transmissions, so we wanted to get as close to that technology as possible that the Rally America Series would allow. Also, the rear suspension of the Ralliart does not allow for the same amount of travel as an Evolution. With several airborne experiences during Olympus, this was a trial by fire.

Bringing a prototype car to scrutineering is always exciting. The car was examined under a microscope by the judges. After a couple of very minor adjustments the car was off to the park exposé. WORKS Rally showed up to the event with only 3 crew members; driver Lars Wolfe, co-driver Jon Burke, and technician Josh Shutz-Hellam. Many rally fans were surprised to learn that our car was not an Evolution. And since many fans were familiar with sequential-transmission technology used in WRC they were very interested in our decision to use the TC-SST gearbox. At the exposé the team was approached by two fans: Tino Fortunato and Nikki Saetre. They offered their services as crew members, which could not be more appreciated for WORKS Rally on a gloomy weekend with foul weather forecasted.

It was at this point that the team began to develop a relationship. This was the first time that Lars Wolfe and Jon Burke had worked together as driver/co-driver, technician Josh Shutz-Hellam has only been with WORKS for about a month, and now there were two complete strangers in the crew. And since the co-driver acts as the brain of the rally car and the driver acts as the nervous system the two of them needed to find a common ground in their communication. And taking into account that this would be a shakedown for a brand new car, this was forecasted to be an interesting weekend.

Lars and Jon set off for Stage 1, Wreck Creek, at 8AM. The TC-SST’s quick and aggressive shifts shot the Ralliart off the starting line much quicker than anticipated. Since Lars had his hand in every modification made to the car he was particularly in focused on every creak and squeek it made. They reached the second service stop at the end of Stage 2 with no mechanical issues. By the end of the day only minor repairs needed to be made. This was alone was cause for celebration for the team. Already we had passed a milestone no other company had done yet. Our upgraded twin-clutch transmission had held for a full day of competition.

That night the team began their routing maintenance in the hotel parking lot. As it began to rain, a local by the name of Harry Buckman saw the techs wrenching on the car and offered his garage to the team for the night. Without his help, our team would have had a much longer and harder night. We owe a very special thanks to Harry.

After the team-building crash-course that was Day one, Lars and Jon began to find their rhythm. Comfort and familiarity for the Ralliart was improved and the team started clobbering 30-40 seconds off their previous times. They were looking forward to test the car’s true power on the dry and infamous Brooklyn stages. However, it was in this stage that WORKS Rally ended the race last year. Lars describes how he felt as he approached the very turn that claimed our Evo IX. “It felt like I was playing Gran Turismo with my kids on their Playstation. As I drove past the spot, I was watching the old car’s outlined shadow roll off the road. It was like passing a ghost. At that point, I felt like I could really let go of that experience and move on.”

WORKS Rally finished 8th out of 13 in a prototype vehicle. We are excited about the information we gathered about the car and know what needs to be done to earn our spot on the podium. It has been a year since Lars has been behind the wheel; the cob webs are coming loose and his spirit was revived this past weekend. He admitted that he was nervous and apprehensive because of both the car and his hiatus. We look forward to working with Jon Burke again at the Oregon Trail Rally in a few weeks and hope to see some of you there.

Joey@WORKS On Friday, April 23, 2010

Photo courtesy of

WORKS Rally will making their debut this year in the third round of the 2010 season with intent to successfully test a first-of-its-kind vehicle for the Rally America series, yielding nothing less than a podium finish.

Last year at the Olympus Rally, driver Lars Wolfe and Michel Hoche-Mong entered the WORKS Rally Evo IX in the Super Production class. It was WORKS’s debut for a national rally event. Company owner and founder Peter Kang had always been a rally enthusiast. “One of the main reasons I started WORKS was my passion for Rallying. Mitsubishi has always maintained a strong tradition in the sport and I wanted to help bring that to the US market.” And the team was in good hands. Lars Wolfe’s training began seven years ago at the Team O’Neil Rally School. Positioned as the driver and mechanic he had a strong history with racing Volkswagens, driving a 2000 Jetta 4Motion to a class victory at the NASA 6 Hours of Thunderhill in December 2008.

Last year at the Olympus Rally in 2009, Lars Wolfe and Michel Hoche-Mong were gaining momentum with each passing stage. Starting Stage 6 they were 2nd in class, 7th overall. This was a huge milestone for a company making a debut in a sport with less than eight employees. By the end of the day they stood 7th in class. Day 2 began with optimism as WORKS Rally moved up two places crossing the line at Stage 10 with only six more to go. They started Stage 15, but another vehicle was claimed by the infamous Brooklyn West. The car caught the inside edge of a turn and went into a sensational roll. But this was not to be the end of WORKS Rally.

They were back on their feet with a 2009 Lancer Ralliart in November. This time, WORKS will be setting the bar again in the Mitsubishi community. When given the choice to build a new car for this year’s Rally America series it was decided to go with a Lancer Ralliart, not an Evolution. With proper preparation, Mitsubishi’s new TC-SST twin-clutch transmission made by Getrag was seen by Lars Wolfe to be a competitive advantage. With the help of South Side Performance transmission upgrades, we set off for the 25 Hours of Thunderhill to see where the car stood against the competition. It was the first attempt anyone had made to run the SST transmission for this long. It held at full power for almost 6 hours of continuous racing until we encountered engine overheating issues and the plug was pulled.

The bar is still set high for WORKS Rally. This is an experimental car’s maiden voyage onto the dirt. Lars Wolfe has spent his time in the trenches, following the steps to perfecting the mechanical tuning of the car and his skills as a driver. The team plans on attending many more events this season and is planning to secure a spot on the podium.


Photo courtesy of

During the NASA season opener here at Infineon Raceway, Pete Kang, chief engineer, had the unique opportunity to sample all of Mitsubishi's latest and greatest creations back-to-back on-track. All three cars had the WORKS touch to them, but the core characteristics of the cars still shined through.


CY4A Lancer GTS (5-speed):
WORKS P1 Flash
WORKS Drop-in Air filter
WORKS Short Shifter with WORKS console bushings
WORKS Stage 1 Suspension Package (springs and rear sway bar)

Track conditions:
Session 1 - wet with light drizzle. Rained hard during the morning
Session 2 - dry with multiple puddles and runoff

The Lancer GTS is actually a very fun and capable track car. Everything is well balanced with the power, handling, and braking. Can't get into too much trouble and it does what you tell it to. In some ways the lack of power is a blessing in disguise as you can keep it in 3rd gear with your foot to the floor over 80% of the time and focus on the line and carrying momentum through the corners. The short shifter and bushings actually made shifting much crisper and quicker compared to driving previously on track without them. During the wet, first session, the Lancer pushed (understeered) as expected but got right back in line during the dryer second session.

Ups: Balance and predictability
Downs: Brakes & tires

CY4A Lancer Ralliart:
WORKS P2 Flash
WORKS Drop-in Air filter
WORKS Charge Intercooler
WORKS turbo-back custom exhaust
SSP Performance clutch packs, cooler, and fluid
Hot Bits coilovers
WORKS custom cage
Whiteline sway bars front and rear
WORKS SS brake line kit
WORKS/Brembo Big Brake kit (front)

Track conditions:
Session 3 - dry with few puddles

The Lancer Ralliart shares the same chassis as the Lancer GTS but adds AWD, a small turbo, and a TC-SST transmission.
There is good, instant power with no turbo lag to speak of. Great point and shoot car. The SST transmission is amazing. Drove in Sport mode and manual mode. Banging through the gears was effortless and instantaneous. This alone is probably worth a couple of seconds per lap.
Handling was flatter and stiffer compared to the Lancer but this had coilovers and big sway bars. These showed what the chassis is capable of. The Brembo big brakes did the trick compared to the stock brakes previously experienced.

Ups: SST Transmission
Downs: not much but could always use more power

CZ4A Lancer Evolution EVO X GSR:
WORKS T2 Flash
WORKS/Garrett 3076 EVO X turbo kit
WORKS Drop-in Air filter
WORKS Charge Intercooler
WORKS cat-back exhaust
WORKS Short Shifter
WORKS console bushings & hybrid cable bushings
AST coilovers
Autopower roll bar
WORKS sway bars front and rear
WORKS SS brake line kit
WORKS Orange brake pads

Track conditions:
Session 4 - dry with runoff across Turn 1

What can I say that you don't already know? The Evolution X is everything you would expect and then some. It was better in every respect with regard to power, handling, and braking. The CZ4A chassis is noticeably different than the CY4A chassis. Powerband was very broad with virtually no lag on-track. Very well balanced in every regard and the obvious winner of the bunch but at a cost.

Ups: Power, handling, braking
Downs: Fuel consumption