Kosciuszko has conducted some of the development of the R4 version of Mitsubishi’s Lancer on behalf of Ralliart Italy since joining the firm for 2011.
The R4 regulations were designed by the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body, to narrow the performance gap between traditional Group N production machines and Super 2000s by relaxing some of the stringent technical controls placed on the Group N class, such as weight and suspension.
“We have already made a big step forward from the basic set-up to fine tune this rally weapon,” Kosciuszko told Wrc.com. “With a sequential gearbox and more weight reduction I think that would be enough to beat the S2000 cars and I can’t wait to drive this car on a rally.”
Kosciuszko will stick with the Group N4-specification Lancer Evolution X for his PWRC bid although Jari Ketomaa will drive one of the new R4 Lancers on Rally d’Italia Sardegna next month.
“I can't wait to drive this car on a rally because it would be an exciting confrontation with the S2000s,” said Kosciuszko, who campaigned a Fiesta S2000 last season and plans to tackle at least one rally in an R4 car in 2011. “For sure we have still to improve the R4 whereas the S2000 is on the limit of its potential, but that gives the R4 an advantage.”
Following tests in the R4 Lancer, Kosciuszko identified several benefits over the traditional N4 version.
“The stability is the main difference,” said the Pole. “The R4 gives a lot more confidence on high-speed sections. Also the R4’s driving precision on twisty and rough roads is better than the Group N. We worked hard to increase the reliability of the R4, and now it looks really strong. It weighs less so you can immediately tell the difference between this and the Group N car. With the R4 you can be more precise, there’s no need to use the weight of the car for driving and when you turn in the car reacts very quickly.”
"With a sequential gearbox and more weight reduction I think that would be enough to beat the S2000 cars"