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Renault Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz will make his rallying debut at this week’s World Rally Championship season-opener in Monte Carlo.
The 23-year-old will drive one of the organisers’ Renault Megane R.S. course cars through the 8.5-mile Col de Braus powerstage on Sunday.
Sainz will be running ahead of the main field in the VIP car, shortly before the WRC regulars start SS17 to fight for an extra five bonus points.
“I’m really looking forward to experiencing Rally Monte Carlo for the first time,” said Sainz.
“It’s going to be a real thrill to take part in such a legendary event behind the wheel of a Renault Megane R.S, which will be fitted with snow and studded tyres so I can get a more complete sensation of rallying around these stages.”
Sainz’s double WRC champion father Carlos Sainz Sr won Monte Carlo in 1991 (pictured above) and ’95 and ’98.
“I’ve done a lot of practice with my dad – we have a rally car at home in the countryside, so we have done a lot of dirt stages with the car and I keep learning quite a lot,” Sainz Jr added.
“I’ve heard so much about it [Monte Carlo Rally] from my dad: how difficult the stages are, how the conditions can change in an instant from snow to rain or bright sunshine and, of course, how you need nerves of steel for some of those mountain passes and hairpins.”