Sainz Returns to Replace Duval

Citroen has tempted double World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz back out of retirement to replace troubled young gun Francois Duval in next month's Rally Turkey

Sainz Returns to Replace Duval

The Spaniard, who has won 26 WRC events during his career, has accepted the French manufacturer's request but said this will be a one-off participation.

"It's been seven months since I last drove a Xsara WRC, but considering the current situation, I want to help Citroen if they judge it's necessary," Sainz said in a statement.

"It's clear that my participation is depending on extraordinary circumstances and doesn't mean I will come back to world rallying. With this temporary measure I hope to contribute to the team's success. It was also normal to give a favour back to Citroen who helped me a lot in 2003."

Securing Sainz's services is a major coup for Citroen Sport team boss Guy Frequelin, who had wanted to keep the star as part of his team for this season.

"The results of Citroen in the Manufacturers' Championship aren't matching our goals," Frequelin commented. "To give ourselves more time to think about the strategy we will adopt for the rest of the season, and considering Carlos' record and his consistent performance during the past two years, I've asked him if he could drive for us in Turkey."

Sainz announced his retirement at the end of last year, stating that he was not prepared to commit to all 16 rounds of the series. But he is a previous winner in Turkey and has extensive knowledge of the Xsara WRC - and a reputation for finishing rallies and scoring points, an area where Duval has struggled so far this year.

Duval's position at Citroen had been in doubt since he crashed out of the Cyprus Rally last Saturday. His co-driver Stephane Prevot has already announced that he will not navigate for the Belgian again.

It is not yet known if the one-off nature of Sainz's outing is designed to give Duval a break, or to allow Citroen to find a more permanent replacement.

For Sainz's thoughts on his return and further details on the switch, see this week's Autosport Magazine, on sale this Thursday.

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