Ford set to employ team orders to protect Rally Australia one-two
|By David Evans||Friday, September 9th 2011, 09:25 GMT|
Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson has confirmed he will look to implement team orders on his drivers for the remainer of Rally Australia.
Mikko Hirvonen leads the event with a seven-second advantage from team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, with first non-Fiesta RS WRC runner Petter Solberg third, 37s behind Latvala and 44 off the front.
"We have to see what happens tomorrow," said Wilson. "We've seen the way things are going today and we can't suddenly decide what we want [to happen], but, for sure, we want to hang on to the results we've got. And sure, even if Mikko's second at the end of tomorrow, we're going to think about the championship for Mikko - there's no question about this."
Latvala agreed with Wilson's decision, saying: "I lost my chance to fight for the championship in the spring time and I said then that I would do what I could to help with Mikko's championship."
Hirvonen started Rally Australia 36 points behind Sebastien Loeb, who crashed out of the lead in Australia this morning. Victory on the rally and Sunday's powerstage would be enough for Hirvonen to narrow that gap to just eight points if Loeb does not restart the event tomorrow.
Loeb's car is currently being worked on in an attempt to get it back to the stages in time for day two. The near-side A-pillar of the roll cage had taken an impact on the number one DS3 WRC, but the team is working to repair the cage this evening. Even if Loeb can rejoin, he will have incurred 35 minutes in superally penalties for missing seven of Friday's stages.
Sebastien Ogier's sister Citroen is expected to restart after he switched his car off for precautionary reasons after damaging the radiator on the first stage this afternoon.