The former Ralliart Europe operation, which was responsible for five WRC titles for Mitsubishi, has been resurrected following the creation of MML Sports Ltd, it has been announced.

Based in the same Rugby headquarters as the multiple title-winning works Mitsubishi rally team and comprising the same core personnel that delivered one manufacturer and four driver titles to the Japanese marque, MML Sports hopes to pick up where Ralliart Europe left off.

The creation of the new company has been driven by managing director John Easton, formerly the operations director at Ralliart Europe and as it subsequently became known, Mitsubishi Motorsports.

It follows protracted negotiations by Easton, with the support of Latvian businessmen Valdis Spredzis and Andris Dambis.

"I am delighted that we were able to ensure that the expertise that has developed within the Rugby facility can continue to flourish," said Easton. "It would have been an absolute travesty to see the experience and hardware go to waste.

"There are 20 years of experience, one manufacturer and four driver titles within this building and that simply could not be allowed to disappear.

"The creation of MML Sports from what was Ralliart Europe means that we have no less than eight Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 World Rally Cars available to private competitors and as Csaba [Spitzmuller] and Ivars [Vasaraudzis] have shown [in Hungary and Latvia respectively], in the right hands, it is a potent and successful tool for any championship."

MML Sports however, will offer more than just than simply providing World Rally Cars and on-event support.

"The infrastructure put in place to develop the Lancer WRCars from scratch in 2004 also forms part of the company's portfolio and with it, every aspect of developing a world class rally car from a clean sheet of paper," added a statement to the press.

"State-of-the-art computer design and modelling, bodyshell preparation and test, component manufacture, quality control, electronics, engine and transmission assembly and test and of course, car build as well as logistics and hospitality are all elements of what MML Sports can now offer clients.

"This means that MML Sports is able to offer teams as well as manufacturers a full-house development programme, from development work on existing projects to creating a winning car from scratch: all with the advantage of the knowledge and existing infrastructure ready to begin work within a matter of days."

The company meanwhile is already well down the road of developing the next generation of Group N Mitsubishi - the Lancer Evo X.

MML Sports has recently completed the fabrication work on its test car, which is currently being trial assembled, prior to setting the final specification and its first test. It anticipates that the first Group N Lancer EvoX will begin its set-up testing in February 2009, ready for customers to place orders for cars in early 2009 and certainly in plenty of time for the start of the '09 rally season.

"We're also very excited about the Group N Evo X project," added Easton. "The car is a huge step forward from the previous generations of Lancers, which were incredibly successful in their own right.

"It uses a brand new engine and the work we have carried out so far developing the bodyshell suggests that the car will be very competitive once we finalise the specification."



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