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Ford counting on rain in Bulgaria

Mikko Hirvonen, Ford, Bulgaria 2010Malcolm Wilson has admitted Ford's best chance of reeling in the runaway Citroens on today's opening leg of Rally Bulgaria is if it rains this afternoon.

The French firm totally dominated the morning's two stages with C4 WRCs occupying the top five places at the lunchtime service halt. Mikko Hirvonen is Ford's leading driver in fifth place, 41.6 seconds behind leader Sebastien Loeb.

"This morning certainly hasn't gone the way we wanted it to," said Wilson. "We didn't expect to come here and beat Sebastien Loeb, but we did expect to be much closer to the pace than we are.

"We are analysing this morning's data now and we will make some changes to the car. The one thing which is clear from the morning is that when it is damp or wet conditions we are on the pace, it's just in the really quick stuff that we're losing out."

After heavy rain yesterday, the weather was dry for the morning, but there was a strong possibility of the rain returning for the second loop of stages this afternoon.

"Some rain would be good, it would mix things up a bit," said Wilson, "and clearly those more slippery conditions are favouring us."

As well as struggling against Citroen in the faster sections, all of the factory Fords were suffering understeer in the longer corners, prompting the team to send the cars out with stiffer set-ups for the afternoon.

Fastest Ford man Hirvonen could find little to cheer him over lunch.

"We're definitely far behind," he said. "I tried to drive really neat and smooth and tidy through the morning, but the first split showed that was s***e. So, I drove more like my old style from then on and it worked better. We have to find something."

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