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Motorsports Legend Carlos Sainz to Compete at X Games Barcelona

May 14, 2013

Two-time World Rally champion Carlos Sainz has confirmed his entry in this weekend’s Global Rallycross event at X Games Barcelona.

Sainz, whose 26 World Rally wins are enough for third all-time, will drive the second Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo with sponsorship from Red Bull. He becomes the third former World Rally champion to compete in Global Rallycross, following Marcus Gronholm and Sebastien Loeb.

The Spanish driver competed in 196 World Rally events from 1987 to 2005, most of any driver all-time, while winning the championship in 1990 and 1992. He also won the 1997 Race of Champions, 2007 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup, and 2010 Dakar Rally.

He will join one of the top new teams on the Global Rallycross circuit, as Marklund Motorsport put both of its cars in the final in the season opener at X Games Foz do Iguacu. 2012 European touring car champion Anton Marklund finished sixth, while 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, making his rallycross debut, won the last chance qualifier and finished 10th.

Sainz will race with #303, the same number he used at Dakar in 2010 and earlier this year. He has already tested the Volkswagen, running a handful of shakedown laps at the Montalegre circuit in Portugal at the end of April.

Q&A: Carlos Sainz, Driver, #303 Red Bull Volkswagen Polo

What first sparked your interest in Global Rallycross?

A couple of months ago I received a telephone called from the organizers, regarding my participation in the Spanish race. I don’t know a lot about rallycross but I followed a little bit in the past. I have tried nearly everything in motorsport but I am missing rallycross and I think this could be a good opportunity to try. It looks very spectacular and exciting and the fact that the race is in Spain is another positive fact. Everything will be new for me but I will try to enjoy myself.

What led to your partnership with Marklund Motorsport? What are your thoughts on working with the team so far?

Marklund Motorsport is running Volkswagen Polos so it was clear that if I had to do a race, due to my relationship with Volkswagen, it would have to be in a Polo. Then I spoke with Jost Capito (VW Motorsport Director) and he was supporting the idea, so he put me in contact with Marklund, then finally thanks to the Red Bull and Volkswagen support this will be possible.

I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to test with the team in Portugal and I really liked the team. I think Anton Marklund is really fast and together we will try our best.

You tested the car in Portugal a couple of weeks ago. How happy were you with where the car was? Did you recommend any changes?

It was a short test and it was more to understand how a rallycross car works. Then naturally you try to adapt a little bit the car to yourself.

Do you have to change your driving style at all in adjusting from rally to rallycross?

Not really, I think the biggest difference will be to have everybody around.

You’ll be making your GRC debut in Barcelona, running in your home country. How important is it to you to score a good finish in front of the local fans?

I will try to enjoy but I will try at the same time to do my best in front of the Spanish fans. It will be different for sure, I have no experience at all of rallycross or X Games.

When all is said and done, do you have any expectations for where you’ll finish?

No idea, we will see. I have my lucky number 303 so anything is possible….

 Image via Red Bull Content Pool
Categories: Breaking News