Ford makes switch to Michelin

Ford has made the switch from Pirelli to Michelin tyres as it bids to wrest the World Rally Championship crown away from Peugeot in 2003

Ford makes switch to Michelin

The Focus has had limited success over the past two seasons on Italian rubber, and rally boss Malcolm Wilson is hoping a switch back to Michelin will allow drivers Markko Martin and Francois Duval to challenge the 206s which set the pace this season using the French tyres.

"We have enjoyed two successful years with Pirelli and thank them for their support," said Wilson. "Together we have made some major improvements and this has seen us finish runner-up in the world championship for two years in a row as well as winning six rounds during this time.

"The World Rally Championship is Ford Motor Company's premier global motorsport activity and as such we have some exciting plans for the future. We felt it was in the best interests of all parties to utilise this option now and enable us to renew our development links with Michelin."

The Focus ran on Michelin rubber during its debut WRC season in 1999 and again the following year. Ford's F1 outfit, Jaguar Racing, also uses Michelin tyres.

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