Sainz rallies to the Skoda cause
FORMER world rally champion Carlos Sainz has been called in to fast-track a Skoda push to win the World Rally Championship.
The Spanish superstar has retired from sprint rallies but is now the leader of Volkswagen’s rally raid team and was given permission by his bosses to help with the latest rally contender from the VW Group.
Sainz jumped into the new Skoda Fabia car being set for the Super 2000 world series, and eventually a full-scale world title program, as it was moved up to the next level before its competition debut towards the end of the year.
‘‘I have got to know the Skoda Fabia really well and I can see a huge step forward as far as the development of the competition version is concerned,’’ Sainz says.
He drove the Skoda in a tarmac test in Austria alongside the company’s regular test drivers, Jan Kopecky and Raimund Baumschlager. Sainz has driven for Skoda before, winning a rally in Spain last year, but has no plan to return to the world championships.
The S2000 Skoda is also being prepared for regional championships. Australia is a possible starter once cars are available next year.
Call up: Carloz Sainz will get behind the wheel of a Skoda Fabia for rally title bid.