GKN Driveline, the world’s leading supplier of driveline components and systems, played a key role in Mitsubishi’s victory in this year’s Dakar Rally. Stephane Peterhansel won the legendary 5,566 mile (8,962 kms) ‘desert raid’ for the second time running driving his Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution and taking the Japanese company’s total to 10 wins in this, the toughest of all desert rallies.
Formerly a very successful motor cycle entrant with six Dakar victories to his credit, Peterhansel was delighted to secure his second win on four wheels. The Mitsubishi performed well among one of the strongest entries in recent years including cars from Volkswagen, Honda and Nissan. Co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret, also from France, partnered Peterhansel in both Mitsubishi victories.
Entered by the Mitsubishi Motors Repsol ATS Studios Team, the latest evolution of the company’s Dakar specification includes special sideshafts for its full-time, all wheel drive drivetrain. These sideshafts are the result of extensive development at GKN Driveline Motorsport where technicians successfully met a superlative challenge. Powered by a special 4 litre, six cylinder, 24-valve performance engine developing power of 270 PS/5500 rpm and torque of 43 kg-m/3500rpm, the Dakar winner required shafts with outstanding power, strength and durability while providing maximum wheel height travel.
Robin Armstroff, international manager of GKN Driveline Motorsport, commented: "With the application of our latest technologies in terms of CVJ design, materials and lubricants, we were able to provide for Mitsubishi a unique sideshaft specification. This proved to have the durability to maintain performance at the extreme end of speed and articulation, for very prolonged periods. This is a further example of a motor sport development pointing the way forward for road vehicles. Peterhansel’s victory is great testament to the integrity of our engineering capability."Published 9 April 2005