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Twenty-six-year-old Alessandro Bettega, 2006 Fiesta SportingTrophy International (FSTi) Champion, will make his World Rally car debut in a Ford Focus RS WRC06 at Rallye de France - Tour de Corse.
As part of his package for winning the 2006 FSTi series, Bettega will enter the event as part of the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team in a 2006 specification Focus WRC with support from his long-term partners, TRT La Scuderia.  The car will be prepared and maintained on the event by M-Sport.
Bettega, who won the FSTi section of the Tour de Corse in 2006, rates the difficult island event as one of his favourite rallies, so it made sense that this should be the venue for his step up to a WRC car.
Bettega will be partnered by experienced co-driver Simone Scattolin on the event, scheduled to be held on 12-14 October 2007.  Together they won two of the six rounds of the 2006 FSTi series and, combined with two second-placed finishes, they were able to wrap up the title before the final round.
Alessandro Bettega said:
"As you imagine, I feel really excited about this.  Having the possibility to drive a Ford Focus WRC, it is the best thing that can happen to a driver. It is like a dream come true.  I know it will be very difficult to compete against the best drivers in the world, but I am taking it as a very good opportunity to have the first chance to drive such a car and, above all, to drive the car that is currently in the top spot of the World Rally Championship.  I hope I will have some time in the Focus just to build up a little bit of confidence and then we will see.  I will struggle in the beginning but I will try to improve the speed every stage and try to understand how to drive the car.  I am very happy to have this fantastic opportunity in Corsica, because last year I had very good feeling of the roads and I enjoyed it a lot.
"I would like to thank M-Sport for this fantastic opportunity, my team, TRT, which is helping me in every occasion, and all the sponsors that allowed us to start the season."
Malcolm Wilson, Managing Director of M-Sport said:
"This is exactly the type of opportunity that we had hoped to be able to provide when we set up the FSTi series.  Alessandro and his TRT team have worked really hard to get to where they are and this should give them a great chance to gain the experience that is vital to progress to the top nowadays.  2007 has been difficult for Alessandro to date and this will give him the chance to understand what competing at the highest level is all about - it is great that the Fiesta series has been able to offer this."
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