Another major blow to the world of motorsports from the global economic downturn as Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today their decision to withdraw from Cross Country Rallying, starting with the legendary Dakar Rally.

In its 26 entries in this event, Mitsubishi Motors won the rally a total of 12 times, including seven consecutive victories from 2001-2007.

The sad news comes after a disastrous 2009 Dakar Rally for defending Champion Stephane Peterhansel who dropped out of the 7th stage of the rally failing to capture his 10th victory in his 20th year of participation.

Mitsubishi competed with the new diesel-powered Racing Lancer for the 2009 Dakar Rally.

The sudden deterioration of the global economy made it necessary for the company to focus its resources more tightly, leading to the announcement. Japan's fourth-largest automaker also reported a quarterly loss and said that its annual result is expected to plunge to a staggering 60-billion yen net loss for the Mitsubishi group for the fiscal year through March 2009.