Returning to the FIA World Rally Championship, Francois Duval and experienced co-driver, Denis Giraudet, got off to a good start at ADAC Rallye Deutschland producing the sixth-fastest stage time in SS1 for the Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team -...
Returning to the FIA World Rally Championship, Francois Duval and experienced co-driver, Denis Giraudet, got off to a good start at ADAC Rallye Deutschland producing the sixth-fastest stage time in SS1 for the Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team - just 0.7 seconds adrift of Sebastien Ogier.
However, close to the end of SS2, Duval broke the front right driveshaft on his Ford Focus RS WRC which lost the Belgian driver over 60 seconds during SS3 and dropped him back into eighth position.
Matthew Wilson/Scott Martin reported brake problems on their Ford Focus RS WRC in the opening three stages but the Cumbrian duo pulled into the first service in a comfortable sixth position overall, 20.5 seconds ahead of former Formula One Champion, Kimi Raikkonen.
Both Stobart crews have reported they will continue to push as they tackle the repeat loop of three stages covering 67.02 km this afternoon.
Stobart M-Sport Ford driver Matthew Wilson said:
"This is a very difficult rally and the stages are dirty but I feel I've got used to the surface quicker this time -- it's definitely easier to handle the car on the tarmac here in comparison to Bulgaria. We had a bit of understeer on the first couple of stages and the brake pedal was too soft -- there's just no bite on the brakes so this lost us time. I think the overall set-up is just too soft so we might make some small changes during service. We've had no other problems -- I'll just look to push this afternoon once I'm happier with the set-up."
Stobart M-Sport Ford driver Francois Duval said:
"The first stage went well this morning, I was pleased with my time but during the last 5km on SS2, I heard a pop after a junction as my front right driveshaft broke. The last stage was very tough to drive as a result and I lost a lot of time. It's disappointing because the first stage had gone so well. I want to try and keep up with Jari-Matti [Latvala] and Mikko [Hirvonen] this afternoon and hope to make up some time. It's good that this is a long rally as it can hopefully allow me to catch up on the others after a bad start this morning."