Rally Australia leader Jari-Matti Latvala will slow down and let Mikko Hirvonen past on the penultimate stage of the event today.
Hirvonen is well ahead of his team-mate Latvala in the World Rally Championship and this tactical approach from Ford will give the older of the two Finns a seven-point boost in his pursuit of Sebastien Loeb, who is set to finish outside the points in Australia following his Friday crash.
After a lengthy team meeting, Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson said: "We have been through all of the various scenarios and looked into everything. If everything goes to plan then Mikko will pass Jari through the long stage [SS25, Plum Pudding]. I'd rather he passed him that way rather than Jari stopping at the yellow board, but at the end of the day we don't mind what happens."
Wilson said he had no qualms about applying team orders in the situation. The Ford duo have held a clear one-two since the Citroens crashed on leg one.
"We're having absolutely no impact on anybody else by doing this and both of the drivers agree," he said.
Latvala added that he had no problem with stepping aside for Hirvonen.
"I have shown I have the pace to win this rally," said the current leader, "but it makes sense to let Mikko come past. I said I would support him to win the championship and I will."
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