June 7, 2005 It seems that the World's most successful rally driver, Carlos Sainz, just can't say no. After saying that his return from retirement to contest the WRC Rally of Turkey at the weekend (3-5 June 2005) was a one-off to get Citroen's defence of its World Championship manufacturer's title back on track, Sainz has now announced he will accept the offer of another final drive of the Citroen Xsara WRC, this time making his final, final appearance in the Greek round, the Acropolis Rally on 24 - 26 June. Sainz stepped into the car last weekend, ran fourth in the World Championship event and obviously missed the cut and thrust of competition at the highest level.
"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 Citroën team again and to talk with Sébastien as we did so often over the past two seasons," said Carlos at the end of the Rally of Turkey. "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 everyone at Citroën Sport has built together and which I hope continues to be as successful as possible."
Carlos Sainz stepped back into the Citroen Xsara WRC following poor performances from Françoise Duval that were in danger of stopping Citroen's defence of its manufacturer's championship crown. In Turkey, Sainz put in a solid and reliable performance to finish in fourth place and generating points that, along with Sébastien Loeb's victory, have put Citroen just four points behind championship leaders, Peugeot.
"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," said Guy Fréquelin, making the announcement of Sainz' third final drive for Citroen.
"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 protégé Dani Sordo in the JWRC."
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning