That leaves Colin, Auriol, Smeets, Alister, the 3rd driver they used that I can't remember, plus neither Martin or Duval have officially signed a contract yet. Don't over look Wilson jr, Warmbold, Milner, Higgins, PerGunnar, and a score of other folks.
Who knows maybe Ford will offer enough that Martin and Duval will stay loyal....
I wonder if releasing Martin and Duval was part of the act as they can start over with drivers on the cheap. For instance Wilson Jr and Warmbold(the roadblock). Higgins and/or Richard would really be great!
If they weren't going to want to keep them they would have released them sooner.
If ford wants to use WRC for marketing they can't afford to be figthing for a manufacturer point or two every event, or worse having a rookie wreck out all the time.
M-sport probably will get the best drivers they can afford, Martin in a focus is certainly worth while if you can afford him. Duval is the future right there with Loeb.
You talking about David or Mark Higgins. Mark Higgins, if memory serves me right, has more experience in the Ford then David, and I seem to remember Mark doing pretty well in a Focus at WRC GB this year....
Lots of possibile drivers but Marko and Francios are proven in the focus and have strong working relationships with M-sport, Colin proved that it can take time to get used to a new car and a new team, retaining the drivers they have would probably be worth it unless they want big time money.
And Citroen and Peugeot are out at the end of 2005
Rallying suffers double team blow
World champions Citroen and stablemates Peugeot will pull out of the World Rally Championship at the end of 2005. The French manufacturers have blamed "tougher conditions in the car market" for the decision to withdraw.
Citroen and Peugeot have dominated rallying in the last five years, winning five manufacturers' titles and three drivers' titles between them.
Frenchman Sebastien Loeb was crowned drivers' champion in 2004 after just missing out on the title in 2003.
"Given the current economic climate in the industry, PSA Peugeot Citroen has decided not to commit to the world rally championship beyond 2005," said a statement on Thursday.
"In 2005 we will be studying alternative ways in which to keep an interest in the world of sport with a reduced budget.
"As soon as we know, Citroen Sport and Peugeot Sport will announce which disciplines we will be investing in beyond 2005."
On Tuesday, Ford, who have put their Jaguar Formula One motor racing team up for sale, said they would be staying in rallying for the next four years.