As rumoured since the confirmation that his time with the First Motorsport squad was at an end, Francois Duval is to join the OMV Kronos outfit for the tenth round of the World Rally Championship in Germany next month.

Duval, who will be reunited with the Citroen Xsara for the first time since his departure from the works Citroen team at the end of 2005, will partner regular driver Manfred Stohl in a two-car team - replacing Daniel Carlsson who was forced to give up his drive due to sponsorship issues.

"I am very happy and want to thank my partners who have made this assignment possible," Duval, who finished second in Germany in both 2004 and 2005 while driving a Xsara, said. "I know that we can be very fast with the Citroen Xsara WRC in Germany and will cause quite a surprise."

Team-mate Stohl added that he was delighted to have a team-mate with past experience of the Xsara to help the team push forward.

"Francois Duval undisputedly is one of the three best drivers in the WRC on tarmac," he said. "Furthermore, he knows the Citroen Xsara WRC. I can only profit by the comparison and collaboration - that is why I am looking forward to it."

With no WRC event in Belgium, Rally Deutschland will mark the 'home' round for the Kronos-run outfit and team boss Marc Van Dalen said he was hopeful of picking up a solid finish with his two drivers.

"Duval doesn't live too far from the rally course," he said, "and it also is the nearest WRC-run for our company Kronos-Racing. The tradition of OMV at this rally is well known and both Duval and Stohl have already reached the top five here.

"The Citroen Xsara WRC is the most successful car at this rally and eight of 15 podium places went to this car during five years. This combination, with the home advantage, should make for a satisfying performance."