25 Nov 09
Former Citroen and Subaru factory team driver Xavier 'Xevi' Pons will return to the World Rally Championship in 2010, driving a Ford Fiesta S2000 in the new WRC Cup.
The Spaniard, 29, is the second big name driver to announce a WRC comeback this month, and will go head to head with former Skoda team driver Janne Tuohino, who will tackle the series in a similar car.
Pons will drive for a new team headed by Luis Moya, the former championship winning co-driver who won 24 WRC rallies alongside Carlos Sainz. The team, backed by the Nupel pharmaceutical company, will also run Fiesta S2000s and Fiesta R2s in the Spanish championship.
"We expect to make a formal announcement soon, but for now I can confirm that Xevi will do seven WRC rallies next year in the Fiesta S2000," Moya told wrc.com. "His first event will be Mexico, and he will definitely do the rallies in Jordan and New Zealand. We'll announce more details later on."
Moya also confirmed that Pons will be co-driven in 2010 by Alex Haro - the man who accompanied him in this year's Spanish series.
Winner of the Spanish Group N Gravel championship in 2003, Pons made his WRC debut in 2004, when he tackled both the Junior and Production Car series.
For 2006 Pons signed up for a full World Rally Car season with the factory supported Kronos Citroen squad, partnering reigning champion, Sebastien Loeb. He joined the Subaru team midway through the 2007 season, driving alongside Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson for seven events.
Since his departure from the WRC at the end of that season, he has competed on Spanish national rallies and remains in contention for Group N victory in this year's championship, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer.
Pons' best result in a world rally remains fourth, which he has achieved five times: In 2005 at the Rally Catalunya, and in 2006 at the Rally d'Italia Sardegna, Rally of Turkey, Rally Australia and Rally New Zealand.