World Rally-Raid Championship

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart soups up Tritons for 2024 AXCR

2 Mins read
Credit: Mitsubishi Motors

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart struggled to keep up with the rival Toyota Fortuners at the 2023 Asia Cross Country Rally, preventing them from repeating their victory with Chayapon Yotha. For 2024, the team will upgrade their Mitsubishi Triton to better withstand Thailand’s elements to bounce back.

The 2024 Triton features a new six-speed sequential transmission, unlike the manual of the previous model. The tread size has been increased from 1,570 millimetres at the front and 1,565 mm at the rear to 1,730 mm on both sides. Although both the 2023 and 2024 cars have the same 4N16 intercooled turbocharged engine and surrounding system, it has slightly less displacement at 2,439 cubic centimetres, lower by three. The four-wheel-drive system is upgraded from Mitsubishi’s Super-Select II 4WD System to a full-time 4WD. Rigid leaf springs no longer make up the rear suspension as the truck now uses rigid four-link coil springs, which is intended to help the vehicle better absorb hits on dirt roads.

Other elements remain unchanged such as the overall dimensions of 5.32 m long by 1.995 m wide with a 3,130 mm wheelbase. ENDLESS is providing ventilated brake discs with monoblock calipers and pads, operating alongside the seventeen-inch wheels from WORK and Yokohama’s GEOLANDAR M/T G003 tyres.

The truck underwent approximately 800 kilometres of testing at Khao Yai National Park in late June.

“Last year, we tried for a second consecutive victory with the all-new Triton, which had just gone on sale, but we were unable to bring out its full potential, ending in third place,” said team director and two-time Dakar winner Hiroshi Masuoka. “With this year’s Triton, we have made major improvements primarily to driving performance and rough road handling, further enhancing our four-vehicle team as we aim to reclaim our position as champions.

“At Mitsubishi Motors, we leverage our experience in grueling motorsports for vehicle development, so I hope to pass on this tradition to the next generation.”

Yotha finished third overall in 2023 behind the Toyotas of Takuma Aoki and Tubagus Moerinsyahdl, and will have Peerapong Sombutwong as his co-driver. Dakar Rally veteran Sakchai Hantrakul and Jumpol Doungthip will also represent Thailand in their home country. Two more Tritons will be fielded for Japan’s Katsuhiko Taguchi and Kazuto Koide, respectively with Takahiro Yasui and Eiji Chiba as their navigators. Taguchi is a World Rally Championship veteran who made his AXCR début last year while Koide is a newcomer to the team but has worked as a Mitsubishi test driver since 1998.

The 2024 AXCR will take place on 12–17 August.

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