From Skoda Press [ 31/03/2006 ].
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After receiving official support for the 2006 programme from Skoda Auto a few days before the Rally de Espana - Catalunya Costa Daurada, First Motorsport Skoda Team has now learned that the Belgian importer, Skoda Import, has also confirmed its support for the team's remaining programme of World Championship rallies this season.
"The agreement signed at the beginning of the year required that we take stock of the situation after the first two rallies," explained Skoda Import director Didier Willem. "We are therefore delighted with the performance of the team, in particular with the scratch times achieved by Francois Duval-Patrick Pivato in both Monte Carlo and Catalunya. As a result I am happy to confirm our continued support for the programme throughout 2006."
Duval finished sixth in Spain with a strong performance against cars specifically prepared to the 2006 championship regulations, a result that equalled the previous best finishing position for the Skoda Fabia WRC.
First Motorsport Skoda Team principal Willy Collignon said: "It is with a mixture of joy and pride that we received this news. It is a fantastic reward for the efforts made at the end of 2005 to set up this programme with Francois and Patrick."
With very little time between events, the First Motorsport Skoda Team is busy preparing for the Rallye de France - Tour de Corse. "We are concentrating entirely on preparing our Skoda Fabia WRC for this event and making important evolutions in particular concerning the brakes," added Collignon.
There is no time to carry out a specific test for Corsica but Duval said in Spain: "I think that the nature of the roads on the island will suit our car much better than those in Spain. The handling and balance of the car is already very good."
This year's 50th edition of the Tour de Corse, round 5 of the 2006 World Rally Championship, will again be based at the island's capital, Ajaccio, where there will be a ceremonial start on Thursday evening (April 6). The event format will be similar to recent years with each day featuring two different stages, each run twice before the event finishes on Sunday April 9 at 1350.