The BP Ford World Rally Team will enter a third car on four of the remaining eight rounds in the FIA World Rally Championship this season, following the 'partnership' deal announced today with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority [see seperate story].

As such United Arab Emirates driver Khalid Al Qassimi, the leader of the FIA Middle East Championship, will drive a BP-Ford-entered Focus RS WRC in Finland, Germany, Spain and Ireland.

The 2004 Middle East rally champion will also continue with the BP Ford team in 2008, competing on ten of the 16 events.

BP Ford team director, Malcolm Wilson reckons that the combination of Marcus Gronholm, Mikko Hirvonen and Al Qassimi will work well.

"The partnership of Sheikh Khalid, Mikko and Marcus - who we hope will be 2007 WRC Champion - forms a powerful combination of diverse experience and raw potential which will prove invaluable as the BP-Ford World Rally Team reinforces its WRC credentials," he noted.

ADTA chairman Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan meanwhile, who announced details of the new partnership to the media this morning, is confident that the deal between Ford and Abu Dhabi will be a success.

"This is a great day for Motorsport, for Abu Dhabi and for the United Arab Emirates," he added.

"This valued partnership for the current season sets us all on-course for continued international awareness, and from 2008, the BP-Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team will be seen competing across the globe. We have total faith in the partnership between Abu Dhabi and the BP-Ford World Rally Team."