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Duval adds more rallies to programme.

Francois Duval will compete on all the remaining rounds in this year's World Rally Championship it has been announced.

The Belgian, who stood in the for injured Gigi Galli in New Zealand, had originally only been due to compete in Spain and France before the end of the season, but following the efforts of Structo businessman and backer Steven Vergalle, he will also now do the Rally Japan and Wales Rally GB.

"This is excellent news," Duval told his personal website. "Steven has waved his magic wand and has succeeded in coming to an agreement with [Ford boss] Malcolm [Wilson] so that I can finish the season.

"I believe I can put in a good performance on these four rallies. For Catalonia and Corsica tests are already planned.

"I want the car to be the very best and I know I can trust [Ford technical director] Christian Loriaux.

"In New Zealand I let myself down and got distracted by [Jari-Matti] Latvala's exit. But rest assure I will come back - and I am looking forward to getting back in the car soon."

Duval, who had been nominated to score points' for the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team in New Zealand, had been running fifth there, until he crashed out in the penultimate stage.

He will run under the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team banner in Spain and France, and while it has yet to be confirmed what team he will represent in Japan and GB it is expected that he will revert back to the Blue Oval's 'B' team.

As for beyond 2008, Vergalle believes Duval's fate is now in his own hands: "I cannot do more to help Francois," the Structo man told rallye-magazin.de. "I hope that he can find a seat for the coming year in a works team.

"Ford is a possibility and would be ideal but one must not forget that both Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala have contracts. If he ends up somewhere else that would also be good."


Related Pictures

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Francois Duval (B) Ford Focus RS WRC 07
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Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
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Podium - Volkswagen
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Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
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Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
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Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

September 09, 2008 9:30 AM

Well I guess the question remains,could he be Subaru bound in 09? They are looking for a good driver with £2,000.000 for the third seat in the team and they need something new to take them forward in 09.Its also possible Gigi Galli will throw in the towel after his accident thus leaving a potential vacancy at Stobart,one thing is for sure,Duval is worthy of either seat.I dont think Ford are about to move Jari over to make room at BP Ford but here is a thought,maybe their sponsor Abu Dhabi would consider changing their deal to BP Ford where they have to run a Middle East driver as their third car thus allowing Duval to be the third driver nominating him to score Manufacturer points on Asphalt



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