A few days ago, in the Ciudad Grupo Santander, driver Cristina Gutiérrez presented her improved Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, which the Burgos native will use to take on the Dakar 2020, her fourth consecutive edition of what is considered to be the world’s toughest rally.
The updated vehicle boasts both technical improvements and aesthetic changes that will help Gutiérrez take on the Dakar Rally’s newly unveiled track through the dunes of Saudi Arabia from 5-17 January.
In 2017, Gutiérrez became the first female Spanish driver to finish a Dakar Rally, and has been improving her overall standing each year: from 44th place in her first race, followed by 38th place in 2018, and finishing 26th last January.
Cristina is optimistic about these vehicle changes and the new location, although she isn’t underestimating how gruelling the event will be: “My number one objective is to once again finish the Dakar Rally, and then I have my sights set on being in the top 25. Finishing the race is already a huge challenge but breaking into the top 25 in three years is monumental. I like the pressure. I enjoy it. But you have to be realistic and go at it one step at a time; you have to have a bit of luck and rack up the fewest number of mistakes possible”, the driver said with excitement.
Following its mechanical evolution, the new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is lighter and has a new distribution of weight, parts have been repositioned, the differential map has changed, the suspension has been adjusted and modified, etc. In short, highly meticulous work was carried out together with co-pilot Pablo Huete, who was very personally involved given his extensive experience with these demanding events.
The brand’s Managing Director Jorge Belzunce affirmed: “Our relationship with Cristina began five years ago. She herself was struck by our brand’s values and sports performance. We have been working closely these past five years, which have been full of success for both Mitsubishi (in terms of sales) and for her sporting career. As a driver, Cristina has earned herself a place in our country’s sports history books. We will continue to give Cristina our full support”. “Our dream is to help her win the Dakar Rally one day behind the wheel of a plug-in hybrid vehicle. This is the automobile’s immediate future, and in this region, we are proud to offer the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the top-selling zero emissions vehicle in Spain, Europe, and the world”, Belzunce added.