Ford leads the FIA World Rally Championship after claiming a double podium finish on the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally today. Markko Märtin and Michael Park were second on the opening round in a Focus RS World Rally Car with Ford BP Rallye Sport team-mates François Duval and Stéphane Prévot third in a similar car after three days of tough competition in the snowy and icy French Alps. Ford holds a four point lead at the top of the championship.
"It's been an incredibly tough rally," said Märtin. "We've had snow, ice and fog and these Monte-type conditions are quite new to me so to finish second is much more than I expected. This weekend has been playing on my nerves for a long time. I was close to leading on Friday but on Saturday morning I lost so much time in the fog. Perhaps I need to eat more carrots! I set out to get second place back and managed to do so but I've been counting down the stages and I'm glad it's over. It's a great start to the season for Ford and now we've got to keep this up for the rest of the year."
Third for Duval matched his career best results, set in Turkey and Corsica last season. "I'm really happy to start the year on the podium," he said. "Markko was very fast over the Turini stage on both occasions and I prefer to be third than risk everything and crash. I've enjoyed this weekend a lot, taken no risks and made no mistakes. The conditions have been tough, especially on the Turini today, but I like that. My Focus has been perfect all rally and two cars in the top three, on one of the hardest rallies of the season, is a great way to start the year."
Go the mighty Focus