Duval fastest in shakedown

Duval fastest in shakedownFrom Skoda Press [ 23/03/2006 ].
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Francois Duval and co-driver Patrick Pivato set the fastest time at today’s official shakedown test for this weekend’s Rally de Espana Catalunya-Costa Daurada. Skakedown is the final chance for teams to test the cars before tonight’s ceremonial start on the seafront of Salou and the real action on the stages that start tomorrow.

Since last week’s private test near Vic the First Motorsport Skoda Team has fitted Duval’s Fabia WRC05 with a new engine, turbo and gearbox and during today’s shakedown near host town Salou, Duval made modifications to the settings of the centre differential to further improve the handling of the car. 

Duval, who fastest time on last year’s Catalunya shakedown before going on to finish second on the rally itself, said: “The road used in the shakedown was very slippery and there was a lot of gravel dragged into the road by other cars so we didn’t take unnecessary risks by making too many runs over the stage. I was confident with the handling of the car and really happy to set fastest time today as it proved we are working in the correct way. I’m looking forward to the rally.” 

It has been confirmed that First Motorsport Skoda team will receive increased support from Skoda Auto in the Czech Republic similar to that given to the brand’s two other teams contesting the WRC this season. Skoda Auto will provide a package of spares and technical support for the remainder of Duval’s programme that comprises the remainder of the Europe-based WRC events. 

First Motorsport team principal Willy Collignon said: “This is good news for the team as it means we can work with the technical aspects of the Skoda Fabia WRC 05 to make sure that it is as competitive as possible for Francois to drive this season.”