Tokyo - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and Mitsubishi Ralliart announced that it will be releasing driver Francois Delecour from his contract with Team Mitsubishi Ralliart in a mutual decision with the driver. While Mitsubishi Motors will honor its obligations defined at the beginning of the contractual period, Delecour is now free to pursue alternative options.
Delecour joined Team Mitsubishi Ralliart at the beginning of the 2002 season, with a two-year contract. However, in December 2002, Mitsubishi Motors announced it would not contest the 2003 FIA World Rally Championship, instead spending the year developing a more competitive car, ready for a return to the sport in 2004.
Mitsubishi Motors, which has been the FIA manufacturers' world champion once and won the driver's title four times, is committed to a successful return to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2004.
At the Mitsubishi Motors Champions Meeting in Tokyo on February 15, MMC Executive Vice President Ulrich Walker said, "We are busy preparing for a successful return. We have put a new organization in place and hired two professionals with a strong track record, Sven Quandt as head of our motor sports activities, and Mario Fornaris as our new Technical Director." He added, "Next season we will be back at the WRC with our Lancer Evolution, and we will be back to win."