Duval Facing Difficult Challenge

Belgian driver Francois Duval has returned to the World Rally Championship in Argentina this morning, emerging from the pre-event shakedown stage unscathed - and faster than teammate Sebastien Loeb

Duval Facing Difficult Challenge

Duval missed the last two rallies, having been dropped from the team after a spate of early season crashes in his Xsara WRC. Duval admitted he has missed the competition and is glad to be back.

"It's a new challenge for me," said the 24-year-old. "Now I am starting with a new co-driver (Sven Smeets), but this is not an easy event to come back to - it's going to be very difficult. Sven is Belgian, but he speaks a different language to me. He speaks Flemish, I don't. We will see."

Duval's future within the team now rests in his own hands. Team boss Guy Frequelin has requested that he finish fourth or fifth without going off the road.

"I haven't driven much recently," Duval added. "I did two days in Finland with Sven, but there was only four or five corners on the road we were using - that's not like here; it's very twisty here. The plan is for me to stay on the road here and stay with the team for the rest of the season."

Loeb's event didn't get off to the perfect start as the team was forced to change the engine in his Xsara WRC before shakedown this morning. When the car was fired up, the engineers noticed a minor oil leak.

The engine change is penalty-free because this is the first rally of a pair of two. If the team had changed it at shakedown for Rally GB (the second event for this engine) a 60-second penalty would have been incurred.

shares
comments
Solberg Tops Argentina Shakedown
Previous article

Solberg Tops Argentina Shakedown

Next article

Loeb Takes Command in Argentina

Loeb Takes Command in Argentina
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Plus

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022