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CRONIN GETS TITLE DEFENCE BACK ON TRACK... Keith Cronin won last week's Rally Isle of Nan in his Pirelli Star Driver Subaru Impreza. His second win of 2010 moves him into third place in the points table

Loeb: Ogier should make Ford switch

Six-time world champion says his Citroen understudy should accept Ford's offer of a Fiesta seat for 2011

Sebastien Loeb has urged his fellow Citroen driver Sebastien Ogier to sign for Ford next season after the British team made an offer for the former Junior World Rally Champion.

Speaking to French newspaper L'Equipe, Loeb said Ogier moving to Ford would make sense for both teams and for the World Rally Championship.

Loeb said: "There are several ways to look at it: if he is in the [Citroen]

team next year it can be a close fight between us and it could be difficult for the boss to handle. It could create tensions between the pro-Ogier people and the pro-Loeb people. Whereas, if he goes to Ford it would be clear, we would be rivals to each other and we would defend our companies.

"I understand that he might be keen to stay at Citroen, it's thanks to Citroen that he is where he is, but on the other hand if both me and him dominate the championship Ford could might pull out and that means Citroen might go as well — and then Ogier would have lost everything. His decision is important for the future."

Ogier admitted he has received an offer from both Citroen and Ford for next season and he will decide in the next week.

"I want to decide before Rally Finland," he said. "I think it's fair to do this."

Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson said: "We're looking at ways to strengthen the team, looking at how we can get back to winning the manufacturers' crown again — that's why we are looking at him. The manufacturers' title is very important when we have a new car; we won it with the new Focus and we want to do it with the Fiesta."

Wilson added that both Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala will be retained next season.

last week's Rally Bulgaria received mixed reviews on its WRC debut - and the strong feeling is that the Borovets-based asphalt event will not return to the schedule.

The stages went down well with the drivers, but the level of organisation and promotion was felt not up to WRC standard.

Ford's Malcolm Wilson said: "This is not what I envisaged from a host for a WRC event. There are no specific complaints, the organisers have done a reasonable job, but I really don't think this is the future of the WRC. If we want the sport to develop we need to be looking for more."

Bulgaria unlikely to return to WRC

CRONIN GETS TITLE DEFENCE BACK ON TRACK... Keith Cronin won last week's Rally Isle of Nan in his Pirelli Star Driver Subaru Impreza. His second win of 2010 moves him into third place in the points table

Loeb and Ogier may not be team-mates in 2011

Loeb and Ogier may not be team-mates in 2011

Ford vows to bounce back in title race

MALCOLM WILSON is confident his team will bounce back from its worst result in two years after Citroen collected the top four places on last week's inaugural WRC Rally Bulgaria.

Mikko Hirvonen's fifth place - three minutes behind winner Sebastien Loeb - was the first time a Ford hasn't been in the top four on a WRC round since Rally Argentina in 2008.

Wilson said: "We're in a very difficult situation now. We put a lot of resource into this event with the test and doing the Serbia Rally. We felt we'd made some improvements, but it's come home to us

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