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Ford to remain in WRC in 09.

The BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team will continue to compete in the World Rally Championship in 2009, Ford of Europe motorsport director, Mark Deans announced last night.

Confirmation came on Wednesday at an official team function prior to this weekend's Wales Rally GB, the 15th and final round in the 2008 World Rally Championship.

Mikko Hirvonen will remain as the lead driver for the M-Sport-run outfit in 09, while Jari-Matti Latvala will drive the other car nominated to score manufacturer points. Khalid Al Qassimi also returns.

Speaking to the official WRC website, BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson noted that decision was a real boost.

"At M-Sport we're very privileged to continue with the programme - especially considering the difficult economic conditions. I think it's a real vote of confidence in the WRC and in M-Sport," he told wrc.com

"It's pretty obvious who we're going to use next year - we feel we've got two of the best potential drivers for the future in Mikko and Jari-Matti. They've both proved they can win rallies, they've had a difficult year this year but they've learned a considerable amount.

"Also joining the team again next year will be Khalid - so on the majority of events we will have three BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRC cars. Going into next year I feel we can definitely challenge for both titles."

As for the future of Ford's 'B' team - the Stobart squad, Wilson added that while it is looking promising, a few things still need to be sorted before that programme can be confirmed.

"I have received positive signals," he added in a separate story on rally-magazin.de. "We hope to see a continuation of the commitment by Stobart in the World Rally Championship."


STOP PRESS:

Crash.net Radio spoke exclusively to Malcolm Wilson in the countdown to this weekend's Wales Rally GB. TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL: CLICK HERE.


Related Pictures

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Truck BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Malcolm Wilson (GBR) and Mark Deans (GBR), Ford/M-Sport Team Boss. Jordan Rally, April 24-27th 2008.
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 - Jukka KETOMÄKI (FIN) - Jarkko ALANEN (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5
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 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE) - Joakim SJÖBERG (SWE) Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE)  Citroën DS3 R5
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 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport

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FreQ

December 04, 2008 3:31 PM

Pleased that they are staying, but have to ask: I know Ford EUR makes a profit, but how can Ford be asking for $9bn to help it survive, yet continue to fund the WRC programme? Glad they are carrying on, but I''m surprised they are.



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