Ford will try and bounce back immediately by taking the victory on the Rally New Zealand in two weeks time, that was the message from the 'Blue Oval' after a disappointing result in Germany.

The BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team lost ground to Citroen in Trier on Sunday after Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo finished 1-2 in their C4 WRC cars, while Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala were only fourth and ninth on the debut event with the new Focus RS WRC08.

Ford of Europe's motorsport director Mark Deans reckons though that when the series returns to gravel in Hamilton that will suit them better, as Hirvonen and Latvala both prefer the loose stuff to asphalt.

"We've relinquished the lead in the manufacturers' championship here but the fight to win it back begins in New Zealand in a fortnight," Deans vowed.

"The gravel roads there are more favoured by our drivers and we'll look to reclaim the series lead immediately."

BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT team director Malcolm Wilson meanwhile added that the experience gained on the tenth round will help them when the WRC returns to tarmac in October.

"We made a good start on Friday with a terrific performance from Mikko. But a lack of experience on the most difficult asphalt rally in the championship, with a constantly changing road surface, resulted in us not taking as many points as we would have liked," Wilson Sr continued. "However, Mikko and Jari-Matti have learned a lot for the final two rallies on this surface.

"[As for the Stobart squad - our 'B' team] after the disappointment of Gigi [Galli]'s retirement, it has turned out to be a dream result to get another podium.

"Francois [Duval] has done a fantastic job here and his confidence and performance have both increased throughout the rally; this will help for the events later in the year.

"In addition, Henning [Solberg] has scored his best ever tarmac result and the times of Matt [Wilson - my son] improved well over the weekend too, providing more good experience for both of them for Spain and Corsica."


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