21 Jan 08
This will be the third time the Stobart outfit will contest the WRC as a privately-backed manufacturer team. Nominated to score points in Monte-Carlo is newly signed Italian star Gigi Galli and his co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini while Franšois Duval/Eddy Chevaillier are the second nominated point scorers.
"Coming into this event I feel a bit 'rusty' because in the last few months the only thing I've been driving is a digger I used to finish my mother's house," said Galli. "Joking apart, I believe it'll take a little time to find the right feeling with the car and the right pace again but then when we find the right feeling we will increase our pace and we'll adjust our targets."
Asphalt expert Francois Duval finished third on the rally in 2004, and could well deliver another good result with the latest Ford Focus. "I am happy to be back in a world rally car on a WRC event as this will be my first event since Corsica last year. It is also good to be back in a Ford Focus WRC which, in the past, has brought me some good results. The last time I competed on Monte-Carlo was in 2006 where some of the route was similar to this year especially on Sunday so I think this will help a bit," said Duval.
Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud will also contest the event for the Stobart team. The Norwegians will tackle the event for the third time, hoping to better the 12th place they recorded in 2007. Also continuing his quest with the team is British driver Matthew Wilson who has been reunited with his old co-driver Scott Martin for the 2008 season. This will be Wilson's third attempt at Rallye Monte-Carlo too, and the 20-year-old is looking to improve on the 12th place he scored last year.