McRae splits with co-driver Grist

Colin McRae has split with his co-driver Nicky Grist with immediate effect

McRae splits with co-driver Grist

The Scot will be partnered for the final two rallies of the season by Derek Ringer, the co-driver who guided McRae to his 1995 world title.

The move follows the end of McRae's slim 2002 title hopes, when he crashed out of the Rally New Zealand last weekend.

"This is a joint decision by myself and Nicky," said McRae. "Our in-car relationship has been strained for the last 12 months or so, and after long discussion we've decided that a change is the best way forward for both of us.

"Neither of us wish to go into specific details but this is an amicable parting and myself and Nicky have today informed Ford Rallye Sport of our decision."

Grist said: "Having made the decision to split, we have decided it is better to make it immediate and have Derek alongside Colin for the final two rounds of this year's in preparation for next season in a new team. I have not yet thought about my future and I'll take time to assess my options."

McRae and Grist have been partners since 1997 after Ringer was sacked by Prodrive boss David Richards. McRae had suffered a number of crashes in his Subaru during '96.

McRae is switching to Citroen next year and would like to end his Ford career on a high in the final two rallies of the season in Australia and Britain. He and Grist claimed 17 rally victories in five years together at Subaru and Ford.

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