Illness sidelines Ligato

Marcos Ligato has abandoned plans for an emotional farewell to the sport at his home WRC fixture in Argentina next month for health reasons.

Ligato intended to end his 21-year career in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta World Rally Car at Rally Argentina (26 - 29 April), which is based in his home province of Cordoba.

Illness forced the 40-year-old to withdraw from last weekend’s Rally Trans Itapúa in Paraguay after the opening night’s action and Ligato confirmed this week he would not be present at the fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

“It’s a real pity not being able to be in this special event and the one in which I wanted to end my career as a professional pilot, but I’m forced to change priorities and focus fully on caring for my health in the coming weeks,” he said.

“For some time I’ve had a pain in the abdominal area which worsened in recent days to the point of preventing me from starting the Trans Itapúa Rally.

“That’s why we decided not to take part in the WRC because I wouldn’t like to compete in an event of this magnitude without being 100 per cent.”

Ligato made 62 WRC starts, his last in a Citroën DS 3 WRC in Finland in 2016. He was a regular in the Production WRC between 2001 and 2012 and finished runner-up to Benito Guerra in his final season at that level. He won five national titles and the south American crown in 2000.

“I would have loved to say goodbye to all the people who encouraged me during all this time by accelerating in the most beautiful rally of all and with a WRC, but it could not be. I thank you with all my heart to the fans who were always with me in each competition,” he added.

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