Mitsubishi world rally
champion Hiroshi Masuoka enthralled Puneites for three days with daredevil
driving of his favourite Pajero Sport. For those who had the opportunity to be
in the powerful SUV with Masuoka behind its steering, it was the experience of
The ride was part of the ‘Pajero
Heart-in-Mouth with Masuoka’ event organised in Pune by Hindustan Motor Finance
Corporation Limited (HMFCL) and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Japan, from
February 13 to 15.
Over 120 Pajero customers, 50
dealers and their staff, Pajero fans and the local media participated in the
event. (HMFCL has been manufacturing, marketing and selling Mitsubishi’s
premium brands like Pajero, Lancer, Cedia, Outlander, Montero etc in India
under a technical agreement signed by the two companies in 1998).
The treacherous route around a
hillock at Pethkar Motoring Grounds in Pune is a formidable terrain to traverse
even on foot. But driving an all new
Pajero Sport, 54-year-old Masuoka drove almost effortlessly, leaving many in
awe of the driver’s calibre. “I am not doing anything special. I am just
driving the car as per the conditions,” said Masuoka when one took the ride in
the back-seat with seat belts on and a helmet to boot.
For the entire ride through
sharp downhill slopes as inclined as 70 degrees with potholes, boulders and
watery patches on the path, Masuoka had Pajero Sport on third gear and used no
brakes. “The machine is designed to take all kinds of terrain,” he explained.
HMFCL utilized Masuoka’s visit
to India to also promote safe driving. The company launched a booklet on safe
driving on the occasion.
HMFCL also announced the
formal launch of Pajero Sport for the Maharashtra region at a meeting of its
dealers at Pune on February 14. The company has sold 211 Pajero Sports in
Maharashtra. Pune sales account for 79 units.
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