Francois Duval has come out of retirement for next month’s Rally Deutschland, and will replace Henning Solberg at Stobart Ford for the all-tarmac event.
Duval is no stranger to the Ford team – as well as starting his career there back in 2002, he drove for Stobart 5 times in 2008 and twice last year for the works squad in place of Jari-Matti Latvala, and is hoping for a strong result in his first event since Rally GB last season.
“It is of great credit to Malcolm [Wilson] and Christian [Loriaux] at M-Sport that I have been given this opportunity to drive for the Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team once again,” said Duval. “I hope that I will have a good test in the weeks before Germany and that I will be able to get a good result for the team. Germany is a very nice rally and each year I have competed I've had very good results so I am confident I will be able to do well again this year.”
Tarmac is Duval’s strongest surface, and team principal Malcolm Wilson is hoping he can score valuable points in the championship race against Citroen.
“I'm delighted to see Francois back behind the wheel of a Ford Focus RS WRC again,” he said. “He will strengthen the Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team at a crucial part of the season so we are very much looking forward to welcoming him on board. We really enjoyed working with Francois in 2008 and I have little doubt that he will continue to impress us when he joins us in Germany next month.”
With Solberg racing an S2000 Fiesta at the reminaing asphalt rounds, Stobart has been looking to find replacements for the four sealed surface events this year. P-G Andersson was driving the second Stobart Ford in Bulgaria, alongside team regular Matthew Wilson, but after Germany there is no-one confirmed for the other two rallies.