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Duval out to keep third and maintain pressure.

BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 'guest' driver Francois Duval remains on course to take the final place on the podium following day two of the Rally RACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada.

Duval began Saturday's action just 2.8 seconds up on his team-mate Mikko Hirvonen, but by the end of the 128 competitive kilometres he had increased that margin to 13.2 seconds.

Speaking in the day's final service, the Belgian vowed to keep pushing on Sunday, so that the lead Citroens of Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo in first and second can't relax.

"Some stages were quite rough with gravel on the surface but I enjoy those difficult conditions," Duval reflected. "It's more interesting to drive on roads like that and yesterday was like driving on a motorway at times. I think the car also works better in these conditions.

"I was driving flat out all day and made changes to my pace notes again this morning. I'm 23sec behind Sordo and that's not so much so I must stay concentrated tomorrow because the stages are difficult and I want to keep Mikko behind.

"I'm not planning on making any changes in service tonight, I'll keep the changes until we are in Corsica next weekend.

"I hope I can keep the same rhythm and pace tomorrow and try to keep the pressure on."

Mikko Hirvonen meanwhile was still somewhat frustrated this morning, but he finally found his groove on the repeat loop, even topping the times in SS10, the repeat-run through the long 38.27 kilometre El Priorat test.

"We changed the rear differential in service this morning which brought an improvement on the high-speed sections, but it also made the car more difficult to drive so there was still work to do," he explained. "I had more pace and my times were closer to Loeb and Sordo, but I didn't have the killer feeling that I need to challenge because I wasn't 100 per cent confident.

"I made the springs harder for the afternoon and the changes helped, but it was me too because I finally found the right rhythm. Finally I remembered how to drive on asphalt and I don't know why I had forgotten that.

"I was driving like a small boy and rushing into everything with the wrong approach - pushing too hard, trying to go too fast and understeering into corners. I became neater and tidier with better lines and the times came easily.

"Tomorrow I'll try to catch Francois. I must not make any mistakes though because I need the points. I'm too far behind the leading cars to catch them but I need every point I can get."


Related Pictures

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Francois Duval (BEL) Patrick Pivato (FRA), Ford Focus RS WRC07, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Hiroki ARAI (JPN) - Glenn MACNEALL (AUS) Ford Fiesta R5, Tommi Mäkinen Racing
12.02.2017 - Alexey LUKYANUK (RUS) - Alexey ARNAUTOV (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Jarosław KOLTUN (POL) - Ireneusz PLESKOT (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, C‐Rally
12.02.2017 - Eyvind BRYNILDSEN (NOR) - Anders FREDRIKSSON (SWE) Ford Fiesta R5 Adapta Motorsport AS
12.02.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
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12.02.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
12.02.2017 - Podium WRC 2, 1st place Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport, 2nd place Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - WRC 2, Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport race winner
12.02.2017 - Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team

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