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Duval `hopeful` of more events.


Francois Duval has said that he is 'hopeful' he has did enough on the Rallye Monte Carlo this weekend to earn himself some further outings in the WRC this season.

The Belgian went into the opening event of the year freely admitting it was vital he did well in order to ensure the collaboration with the Stobart Ford squad would be extended to include additional events.

Furthermore while he had a bit of a lucky escape on the very first stage, when he slid on a big patch of ice and into a small wall, he once again impressed and was running in fifth from the off.

Indeed he was soon battling with Chris Atkinson, initially for fourth, before Dani Sordo's retirement increased the ante and it became a fight for the final place on the podium.

Going into the last leg, Francois was 20.1 seconds down on P3 but he put in a great charge and won four of the five stages and only narrowly missed out on that rostrum, with just 1.1 seconds separating him and the Subaru at the finish.

Despite having to settle for fourth though, he was happy with his form.

"It's great for me to finish in fourth position here. It has been difficult with new tyres, a new car, new co-driver and new stages on the rally but we have done a good job here and collected important points," he stated.

"It took some time to adjust and get confidence with everything but as you can see we were able to set some fastest times today. Hopefully there will be more events to come for me this year."

M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson meanwhile was quick to praise Duval's form and he was clearly impressed by his old driver. Malcolm was also happy with the performances of the other Stobart drivers, with Gigi Galli finishing sixth and Henning Solberg and his son, Matthew coming in ninth and tenth.

"It is a fantastic start to the season for the Stobart team; all four entered cars inside the top ten, both nominated crews scoring points and they have grabbed a strong position in the manufacturers' championship. For François to be so close to a podium is a remarkable achievement and you must remember this is his first time in the car. It's very promising to see that the new guys have got to grips with the car and team so quickly," he concluded.

So has Duval done enough to get some additional outings with Ford?

Post your views in the Crash.net comments section and have your say now...


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Francois Duval (BEL), Stobart Ford Focus WRC 07. Rallye Monte Carlo, 24-27th January 2008.
Francois Duval (BEL), Stobart Ford Focus WRC 07. Rallye Monte Carlo, 24-27th January 2008.
Francois Duval (BEL) / Eddy Chevailler (BEL), Stobart Ford Focus WRC 07. Rallye Monte Carlo, 24-27th January 2008.
Julien Maurin, Nicolas Klinger (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Julien Maurin, Nicolas Klinger (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Julien Maurin, Nicolas Klinger (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Quentin Gilbert (FRA) Renaud Jamouil (BEL), Ford Fiesta RRC, WRC2 Winners
Quentin Gilbert (FRA) Renaud Jamouil (BEL), Ford Fiesta RRC, WRC2 Winners
Quentin Gilbert (FRA) Renaud Jamouil (BEL), Ford Fiesta RRC, WRC2 Winners
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Robert Kubica,  Maciej S zczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Robert Kubica,  Maciej S zczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Robert Kubica,  Maciej S zczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Robert Kubica,  Maciej S zczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)

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Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

January 28, 2008 11:09 AM

I hope to see him get a deal to at least do all the remaining tarmac rallies for the Stobart squad as a nominated driver. I think thats probable although he could get a bigger programme yet. Henning is a good solid driver on gravel so it really defeats the object of having both drivers doing a full programme but Francois is still a good driver who is one of the only good remaining drivers on the market for someone to knick. Something worth remembering is this is the final year for Hennings 3 year massive expert sponsorship deal, maybe Malcolm has his eye on Duval for 2009 and this is his way of securing him long term (just a thought !!)..........

V-Man - Unregistered

January 28, 2008 1:18 PM

Duval is one of the most exiting drivers in the WRC this year, he has calmed down since his early days and should be given more outings for Sobart Ford Team.



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