Ford nominates Sola

Ford has nominated Spaniard Dani Sola for manufacturers' points on the forthcoming Rally Mexico in place of its inexperienced Czech driver Roman Kresta

Ford nominates Sola

Ex-Mitsubishi driver Sola had already planned to contest six World Rally Championship events, Mexico included, in a privately entered Ford Focus. The 2002 Junior WRC champion won the Group N class in Mexico last year, and his knowledge of the rally encouraged Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson to elevate Sola to works status for this season's event.

"Dani's previous experience in Mexico tipped the decision in his favour," said Wilson. "He drove there in 2003, when the rally was not in the world championship, and again last season. Two years' experience of the stages there gives the team an advantage over our rivals."

Sola will test the Focus for the first time today (Thursday) as part of a week long programme at M-Sport's base in Daventry, England.

"I am totally committed to getting the very best possible result for Ford, and personally for Malcolm," said Sola. "Without any doubt, it's a privilege for me to represent Ford. The fact is that I'm working with one of the best teams in the world of rallies."

Ford currently leads the manufacturers' championship, while number one driver Toni Gardemeister heads the drivers' table. Kresta finished eighth in both Monte Carlo and Sweden, but on the latter event local ace Henning Solberg was nominated for manufacturers' points in his place. Wilson was highly supportive of Kresta, insisting that he is only nominating other drivers to reduce the pressure on the Czech in his first full year as a works WRC driver.

"This move will help Roman come to terms with a new rally," said Wilson. "He can discover the characteristics of the Mexican roads at his own pace without having to worry about pushing to score points for Ford.

"He is in the middle of a steep learning programme and drivers' points on both rallies so far indicate that he is coping extremely well."

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