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Ford brings in Duval for asphalt events.

The BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team has announced that asphalt expert Francois Duval will partner Mikko Hirvonen for the asphalt events in Spain and Corsica in October.

The 27-year-old Belgian, who took a fine third place finish in Germany on what was his first WRC outing since Monte Carlo back in January, will be nominated to score manufacturer points in the two asphalt events as the Blue Oval seeks to beat Citroen to the 2008 manufacturers' title.

Duval, who will replace the injured Gigi Galli in the Stobart team in New Zealand, had also been due to compete for the team in the two asphalt events, but his place will now be taken in the Ford 'B' team for those outings by regular Ford man Jari-Matti Latvala.

The young Finn will continue to partner Hirvonen on Rally New Zealand next weekend and will then return to BP Ford Abu Dhabi colours for the final two events of the year in Japan and Great Britain.

"Francois was due to drive a Focus RS WRC for the Stobart team in Spain and Corsica," BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson said. "His abilities on asphalt are well-known to us from his time as a works Ford driver from 2002 to 2004 and this decision will strengthen our-line up for those two rallies.

"A third consecutive manufacturers' world title is our aim this season and Francois' experience of these two specialised rallies will maximise our chances of obtaining strong results."

Duval himself said he was pleased to get the chance to help Ford in its quest to secure the manufacturers' crown and said he was confident of scoring well on both events.

"I'm delighted that Malcolm has the confidence to nominate me for the BP Ford Abu Dhabi team," he said. "After several seasons with Ford previously I'm comfortable with the set-up here. New Zealand will be my third rally in a Focus RS WRC this season so I also feel confident with the car.

"I hope I can score well on both asphalt rallies and play my part in Ford retaining the world title."


Related Pictures

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Francois Duval (BEL) , Ford Focus RS WRC 07, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)
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)
Elfyn Evans, Daniel Barrit (Ford Fiesta WRC, #6 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Elfyn Evans, Daniel Barrit (Ford Fiesta WRC, #6 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Podium, Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport), Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport) and Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Podium, Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport), Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport) and Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Podium, Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport), Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport) and Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Podium, Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport), Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport) and Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Podium, Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport), Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport) and Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Podium, Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport), Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport) and Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Podium, Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport), Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport) and Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Podium, Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport), Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport) and Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)

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Dafydd Larcombed - Unregistered

August 22, 2008 1:09 PM

Im so glad HQ made some solid changes to keep the title, just as I said last week, its better to let Duval drive for BP so BP can beat Citroen than to have Stobart beat Subaru. I think this is very smart tactics by Ford, Seb is just as hard to beat on Gravel these days let alone the black stuff, and if your gonna beat Citroen you gotta have a solid maximum plan, Ford should have extensive testing now for both A/B teams as its not gonna be easy to get back infront of Citroen, Latvala probably understands only to well the importance, also Stobart should swap Henning back to Stobart and Matt to Munchi`s if they wanna beat Subaru aswell. This is a posative step and exciting time for the sport.



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