““The first objective, of course, is to finish…”Cristina Gutierrez, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross T1 Prototype driver in the 2019 Dakar Rally
26 year old Gutierrez will be accompanied by co-driver Pablo Huete. Backed by Mitsubishi Motors Spain for the past four years, Gutierrez was the first Spanish woman to complete the Dakar in a car in 2017 and in the 2018 event she was the highest placed female driver.
“As always when you face a Dakar, you do it with great expectation but also a lot of respect for the test,” said Gutierrez. “The first objective, of course, is to finish what is the toughest rally in the world, for the third time in a row.”
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross T1 prototype is built around a steel spaceframe chassis with a carbon fiber body and employs double wishbone suspension with two fully-adjustable Öhlins Racing dampers on each wheel. The full-time four-wheel drive system uses a mechanical centre differential and limited slip differentials front and rear, helping transmit the turbo-diesel engine’s 340 hp and 506 lb-ft of torque to ground via a 6 speed sequential transmission. Stopping power comes courtesy of four-piston AP Racing brakes on each wheel.
“For me, it is a big step ahead compared to the previous years,” said Gutierrez regarding her move up to the Eclipse Cross T1. “You can go very fast with it, while it is easier to drive and has greater off road capabilities. It’s the most spectacular car I’ve ever driven and attracts a lot of attention!”
The 2019 Dakar rally takes place in Peru in 2019 with drivers and riders facing 5,000 kms of timed competition over ten stages, 70% of which are on sand. Gutierrez’s progress can be followed at www.cristinagutierreztt.com and on social media via the hashtag #CrisToDakar.