Former works rally driver and rally winner Francois Duval will drive an MML Sports Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 World Rally Car on next weekend's Condroz Rally. The Belgian driver will contest the final round of the national championship in the Lancer, one of the few World Rally Cars he has not driven in his career.
Although Duval has never driven the Mitsubishi, he is apparently looking forward to trying it, having seen the success the car has brought to drivers around Europe in the last two years. Run by MML Sports, the company formed from Ralliart Europe, which ran the Mitsubishi works rally team, the WRC05 has been developed and improved in recent months and the results are becoming clear.
The two-day event begins on the 7th November and will see stiff competition for Duval. Fellow Belgian and former Mitsubishi works driver Freddy Loix will also be competing in the Peugeot 207 Super 2000, with Patrick Snijers in a Subaru WRCar and Pieter Tsjoen in a Ford Focus WRC. Therefore, it will be no walk in the park for Duval but based on the competitiveness of the Lancer WRC05 so far this year, MML Sport is confident that he can adapt quickly.
Commenting on the news, MML Sports Managing Director John Easton said; "We are delighted that Francois will be driving the MML Sports Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 on the Condroz Rally. Francois' speed and skill are without question and we are looking forward to seeing him prove how competitive we know the car is and do well on the final round of the Belgian championship.
"This will be the first time that the Lancer WRCar has run in Belgian and once again, it will be up against younger World Rally Cars. However, as we have seen in Holland with Mark [van Eldik] and Hungary, a Lancer WRC with a good driver, such as Francois, is a very potent combination and I'm looking forward to next weekend."
The event sees crews tackle ten stages on Saturday, totalling 165Km on a particularly long day of rallying. The first car is away at 08.00 and is not expected back into service at the end of the day until 22.00, meaning at least three stages in full darkness. Sunday is a far easier day, comprising six stages of 104Km in total.