Joey@WORKS On Friday, April 23, 2010

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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.


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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