Ford Rallye Sport has confirmed that Carlos Sainz will be partnered by Marc Marti for the fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Spain's Catalunya Rally (21 - 24 March). Spaniard Marti will replace regular co-driver Luis Moya who was...
Ford Rallye Sport has confirmed that Carlos Sainz will be partnered by Marc Marti for the fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Spain's Catalunya Rally (21 - 24 March). Spaniard Marti will replace regular co-driver Luis Moya who was injured in a testing accident earlier this week.
Thirty-five-year-old Marti is a highly experienced co-driver, having been competing since 1984. He won the Spanish Championship in 1994 and 1995 and was part of the Seat team which clinched the two-litre world rally title in 1997 and 1998. More recently he has co-driven for Jesus Puras in the official Citroen team and won the Tour de Corse alongside his fellow countryman last October.
Luis Moya has been co-driver to Carlos for 15 years and for all but the first three of Sainz's 154 world rallies, but medical advisers have deemed him unfit to take part in the event which begins in Lloret de Mar tomorrow night. He sustained two broken ribs and lost a tooth when their Ford Focus RS World Rally Car hit a rock-face in the Tarragona region of eastern Spain on Monday afternoon and is now recuperating at his Barcelona home.
Marti was named as the substitute co-driver for the regulation two-day practice session that finishes today and will continue to partner Sainz for the three-day rally.
"After 15 years with Luis beside me it has obviously been difficult settling in to a routine with another co-driver but we have worked hard to become comfortable in the car and with each other," said Sainz. "We made considerable progress yesterday and I'm confident we will continue to build on our relationship."
Ford Rallye Sport team director Malcolm Wilson had nothing but praise for both Sainz and his injured partner. "Luis is a consummate professional and spent time working with both Sainz and Marti from his hospital bed on Monday night to assist the pair in reworking complicated pace notes to ensure the transition was smooth for both Carlos and Marc," he said.
Moya intends to attend the team's shakedown on Thursday morning to offer any last minute assistance the duo may need and may also be present during the rally. "Luis is very disappointed to miss his home rally, but has accepted the advice of his medical advisors with bravado and has offered great support to the team in helping Marti with the temporary transition back into the WRC co-drivers seat," said Wilson.
It is expected that Moya will make a full recovery in time to return to the co-drivers' seat for round five of the FIA World Rally Championship in Cyprus next month.
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