5 Feb 2009

Mitsubishi pulls out of rallying

6:02 am on 5 February 2009

Mitsubishi will pull out of cross country rallying, including the Dakar Rally which the Japanese team has dominated in recent years, as part of cost-cutting measures caused by the global economic downturn.

Mitsubishi become the latest Japanese automaker to scale back their motorsport activities following Honda's shock exit from Formula One in December.

Mitsubishi won the storied Dakar Rally 12 times in 26 appearances, including a record seven consecutive victories from 2001 to 2007.

They took part in this year's Dakar Rally, switched to Argentina and Chile because of security fears in Mauritania that forced the cancellation of last year's event.

Mitsubishi pulled out of the World Rally Championship in 2005, while rival carmakers Subaru and Suzuki pulled out late last year.

Japanese motorcycle maker Kawasaki also followed suit last month by pulling out of motorcycling's MotoGP championship.