Ford boss Malcolm Wilson has said that there will be no holding back on the Wales Rally GB next week and that Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala will both be told to go flat-out.

The M-Sport-run outfit heads to the season finale trailing Citroen by eleven points in the race for the manufacturers' title and that means a repeat of the one-two finish last time out in Japan is all but essential for the 'Blue Oval'.

Speaking exclusively to Radio recently, Wilson Sr added though that he is confident they can do very well come the finish on December 7.

"There is only one instruction and initially Mikko and Jari-Matti both have to drive flat-out. There is nothing else that we can do," he explained. "Okay we will monitor what happens during the event, but certainly from the outset they have to be right up there. We have got to finish first and second. We cannot afford to hang back in any shape or form.

"Last year we finished first and second in GB with Marcus [Gronholm] and Mikko and I am confident we can achieve a similar result this year. Mikko and Jari-Matti are two of the most exciting drivers' in the championship. However we are obviously reliant on what [Citroen's] Sebastien [Loeb] and Dani [Sordo] do too.

"If we get the same result as what happened in Japan then that will be enough for us to retain our third [manufacturers] title by one point. But our guys can only do what they can do.

"If we do finish first and second that would be great, but we will still, as I said, then be dependent on Sebastien and Dani."

As for if the changes to the route will make things unpredictable, Wilson agreed that it probably will spice things up a little.

"I don't know exactly who has done those stages in the past - or if any of the drivers have done them. But they will be different from the last time they did them," he continued. "A small percentage of the rally is a bit like a new rally - a bit like Japan. Again those types of conditions tend to favour our drivers. We would probably hope for a bigger percentage of new stages every year. We will just wait and see.

"Obviously with Sebastien we know for a fact that it is one of the rallies that he hasn't actually won as a driver. We know it is a big ambition of his to try and do that. But of course Sebastien has got to be mindful and if we finish first and second, Citroen need to get both cars to the finish to still be in with a chance of winning the manufacturers' championship."

So could the role of the Stobart Ford drivers' be crucial?

"Absolutely. Last time Francois [Duval] was there he drove very well and he always has gone very well on GB. Okay it will be a difficult event for him as it is his first event back after the accident in Japan. But Francois could put a spanner in the works and also the likes of Petter [Solberg] and Chris [Atkinson] could as well.

"Certainly the way [Suzuki's] Toni Gardemeister and P-G Andersson were going in Japan was encouraging so they could be up in contention too. However, if it is a wet, slippery and tricky Rally GB, anything could happen," he summed-up.

by Rob Wilkins



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