After a self-imposed seven-month absence from the World Rally Championship, Carlos Sainz finally accepted to lend a helping hand to the CitroŽn team for last weekend's Rally of Turkey where he put in a remarkable performance marked by his usual impressive professionalism.
Carlos announced that his participation in this event should not be taken as a sign of his return to world class rallying and that his help was a one-off exception, CitroŽn Sport Director Guy Frequelin did not hesitate to ask a final favour from Carlos at the end of the rally: one last appearance as a works CitroŽn driver in the Acropolis Rally.
After giving the question much thought, Carlos Sainz has just responded favourably to Guy Frťquelin's request, but at the same time stressed very clearly that this additional help would be the absolute last and that all any further request would meet with a very firm 'no'.
"It really was a big pleasure to find the familiar sensation of being behind the wheel of the Xsara again, to find my marks again so easily, to share further genuine moments of joy with all entire CitroŽn team again and to exchange with Sťbastien as we did so often over the past two seasons," Carlos told Guy Frťquelin. "But my mind is made up. I have no intention of staging a comeback to the World Rally Championship. This will be my final contribution to what you and everyone at CitroŽn Sport have built together and which I hope continues to be as successful as possible."
Guy Frequelin was happy to learn of Carlos Sainz's decision. "What Carlos brought us this weekend was fantastic, especially given the conditions which, as I have already said, were particularly difficult. But that's how you can recognise a great driver," he underlined. "On top of that, the team derived such pleasure from working with him again that I naturally asked him to stand-in for us one final time. I am aware that I am asking him to make another big effort. But I have sworn to respect his request not to ask him any more to drive a WRC car in the World Rally Championship. Even so, I know we will have the pleasure of seeing him again in the course of the season since we will continue to back his protťgť Dani Sordo in the JWRC."
Press release CitroŽn Sport