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Ford boss defends tactics.

BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson has defend the squad's use of tactics on the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse last weekend, which moved Mikko Hirvonen up to second.

Speaking at the finish, Wilson noted that they have to do everything possible to maximise their prospects of beating Citroen and Sebastien Loeb.

"Rallying is a complex sport and the situation we found ourselves in this afternoon was far from ideal," Wilson Sr said.

"However, we have to do everything we can to try to win the manufacturers' title for a third consecutive season and to give Mikko the best opportunity of claiming the drivers' crown."

Hirvonen had been on course to take the runners-up pretty much throughout the thirteenth round in the World Rally Championship. However, when he hit a pothole in the first test on Sunday and had to stop to change a tyre, the Finn slipped to fifth behind fellow Ford men Duval and Jari-Matti Latvala and also Petter Solberg.

With Solberg himself suffering a puncture in the next stage though, the M-Sport-run outfit was able to able to 'activate a plan' to ensure they didn't lose out. Duval thus deliberately checked into the start of the final special stage early to incur a two minute penalty, while Latvala intentionally clocked in late to pick up a 90 second penalty.

This allowed Hirvonen to move back into second and the extra points gained leave him 14 points off Loeb with two rounds remaining, while the BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT also gains an additional point, as Jari-Matti was running under the Stobart banner in France.

Citroen boss Olivier Quesnel meanwhile was reluctant to comment on the matter, although he did joke that Malcolm must have been a star maths pupil when he was younger.

"I think Malcolm Wilson was quite good at school, quite good at mathematics," he replied, when asked about his thoughts on Ford's tactics. "That's rallying. It's not our problem. We do our race, and Ford does what it has to do. I have nothing to say about this."


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rob in St P. - Unregistered

October 13, 2008 6:08 PM

Mal - thats NOT cricket. As an Englishman I would expect better from my fello citizen. What you did was lower the bar, crawl under it and try to look good with a blind mans stick in your hand. Way too obvious, and that KILLS the real sporting issue. Damned if I would have allowed myself to risk life and limb for days and achieved a podium next to the great man, and then be told sorry mate - thanks, but you have to lie down and get trampled on - errrr otherwise you dont have a car next ye**** Thats nothing but blackmail added to unsportsmanship! Someone said power is the ultimate - and the ultimate is power, so use it wisely

c.wardo - Unregistered

October 14, 2008 4:03 PM

Why can't ford just accept that loeb is the far superior all round driver and that by manipulating the drivers positions it only increases loebs dominance in the championship.I expect loeb to win in japan and possibly gb and for the future of the sport i do not see any potential serious challenger to his postion as world champion unless he decides to call it a day and go and drive something in in a more competitive rally / circuit championship



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