Guy Wilks has
now been confirmed as the winner of the International Rally Yorkshire after the MSA revealed the results of Mitsubishi's appeal into his exclusion from the event.
Wilks had dominated the event at the wheel of his works Mitsubishi Lancer, but was then excluded from the event after David Higgins' Team TQ.com protested that the steering column on the Evo 9 wasn't homologated.
At a hearing of the MSA National Court, it was decided that the event was subject to the International Sporting Code of the FIA as an International event.
Mitsubishi accepted that the top of the column had been modified, but argued that this was permitted under Appendix J, Article 254 / Article 6.7.3 of the International Sporting Code as the steering column forms part of one of the car's controls.
The Court heard evidence from Chris Hodgson, technical manager of ADR Motorsport who builds and runs Wilks' Mitsubishi, and Paul Brigden, general manager of Ralliart UK and team principal of Mitsubishi Motors UK works rally team.
Hodgson told the court that the method of attaching the steering wheel to the Evo IX's homologated steering column was not sufficiently robust for competitive use and as a result, changes had had to be made.
"We first experienced a serious problem with the pinch bolt fixing on the steering column of the Mitsubishi Evo VIII MR in early 2005," he said. "This model was the first to have a pinch bolt fixing on the steering column whereas the Evo VIII had a taper and nut type fixing.
"The problem was that the steering wheel easily came loose under rally use when attached to the pinch bolt fixing on the steering column. When the steering wheel worked loose it would simply spin round on the steering column without turning it. The splines on the pinch bolt fixing are very fine and do not enable the steering wheel to be fixed to the steering column securely enough for rally use.
"We therefore changed the pinch bolt top fixing of that steering column for the standard Mitsubishi taper and nut fixing from the Evo VIII steering column, because the pinch bolt type fixing was clearly not suitable for rally use."