November 7th, 2000


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Ralliart Australia is based in Lidcombe North, a suburb of Sydney, near the main stadium of Olympic game, and now has two dealerships in Perth, Western Australia and Brisbane, Queensland. It all started back in 1966 however, when current Managing Director Doug Stewart was asked, along with some colleagues and a Japanese engineer, to evaluate the Colt Fastback on behalf of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. After more than 8000 miles of rigorous and successful testing, the Fastbacks were left in Australia for Colin Bond and Doug to test in a competitive rally environment. The following year, Bond entered the 1000F in the Southern Cross Rally in New South Wales and finished a fine fourth overall. This, and other successful outings, led to more serious assaults and star driver Andrew Cowan - now the team director for Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart - took numerous victories in the 1970s.


Ralliart Australia base in Lindcombe North, near Sydney

For more than 22 years Doug Stewart and Bob Riley ran Mitsubishi’s motor sport activities in Australia and nearby countries. In 1988, Doug Stewart was approached by Ralliart Japan to formally establish Ralliart Australia to operate as their licensee in the region and have continued to do so since then.

Now, its number one driver in the highly competitive Australian Rally Championship is 44-year-old Ed Ordynski, who drives a Ralliart-prepared and run Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI. The South Australian started his rallying career in a Toyota bought for a mere $200.00 in 1974, but went on to dominate events near his hometown area on the Fleurieu Peninsula over the following years. Ed also became the first Australian to win in Group N at World Championship level when he took victory in his Mitsubishi Galant VR4 in Rally Australia in 1989.

Focusing his attention by becoming a full-time driver in 1990, Ed went on to win the Australian Rally Championship the same year in his Group N Galant VR4 - no mean feat against the might of much more powerful Group A cars - and also took the brave step of competing in some of the world series’ most specialised events. Outings in Sweden, Finland and New Zealand reaped rich rewards however, and he finished the season fourth Group N driver in the FIA World Rally Championship.

He went on to win the Group N category in the Australian Rally Championship in 1993, 1994 and 1995 and took a highly impressive sixth overall in the 1997 Rally Australia against a host of regular World Championship campaigners.


Ralliart Australia driver Ed Ordynski (left) with co-driver Iain Stewart

This season’s national Drivers’ Championship may well have been decided, with Ed finishing a creditable second overall behind Cody Crocker - having won round three outright and finished second overall in the fifth round in his Group N Evolution VI - but there is still everything to fight for in the all-important Manufacturers’ Championship.

The Australian Rally Championship for Drivers includes five rounds operating on a two-heat system, allowing crews who have retired on the first day to re-start and score points on the second day. This popular system continues to flourish and, with events as diverse as the heat and sunshine of Rally Queensland, to the unpredictable weather experienced on the Rally of Melbourne, and the snow and cold of Tasmania’s Saxon Safari, it promises a constant challenge for the competing crews. Of the ten heats, eight count towards the Championship title. However, in the Manufacturers’ Championship, the Rally of Canberra is included, as is round 13 of the FIA World Rally Championship, Rally Australia, and this is where Crocker and Ordynski will battle it out for the 2000 title later this month.

Ralliart Australia also supports Fabio Zarfati, who drives a Mitsubishi Pajero in the Australian Off-Road Championship, and Ron Cremen in the Middle East Rally Championship. Cremen took the Group N title for Mitsubishi in 1996, finished runner-up in 1997 and 1998 and is currently lying third in Group N in his Evolution IV.

Each year, Ralliart Australia also provide support personnel to World Championship contenders, Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart, as well as sending servicing teams to sister Ralliart companies in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan.