Friday | 26 May 2017

Sainz rolls back the years

Rallying legend Carlos Sainz turned back the clock to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his WRC debut by driving the iconic Fafe speed test in Portugal last weekend.

The Spaniard and co-driver Luis Moya have not competed alongside each other on a regular basis for 15 years. But they were reunited in a Peugeot 208 T16 R5 at Vodafone Rally de Portugal to mark the landmark occasion.

Remarkably Sainz and former co-driver Antonio Boto won the opening stage at the 1987 Portuguese encounter. Moya joined Sainz a year later and the pair formed one of the sport’s most enduring partnerships, lifting the drivers’ world title in 1990 and 1992.

‘King Carlos’ and the fast-talking Moya relished the chance to fly over the famous Fafe jumps one final time, before Sainz took the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular new-generation World Rally Cars in his one-off role as a TV analyst.

“This was the first time I got to see the new 2017 cars in action,” he said. “I really like the new formula, as more power is a direction I always argued in favour of recently.

“In the later years of my career, I always felt that the cars could do with it. Now they are looking good and performing well, so I think it was a very good move.”

So which 2017 stars and cars impressed El Matador?

“Sébastien Ogier was really impressive. He read the rally extremely well. Starting the first day opening the road was a real handicap that he managed very effectively.

“Hyundai is showing good potential too. Probably Citroën needs to work a little bit more on their gravel suspension and the Toyota also needs a bit more work, although it’s clear that they are already very quick after a break of 17 years,” said Sainz.

You can enjoy the maestro at work in Fafe in the video clips below:

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