Sainz to drive at Rallye Monte-Carlo…no, the other Sainz

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Yesterday, I wrote a piece regarding the father/son duo of Carlos Sainz and Carlos Sainz Jr. here. The fact is, I dropped using the “Jr.” behind Carlos’s name because he’s put a clear footprint on his work in Formula 1 but now we’ll really have to start using it as Carlos, the son, will not participate in rallying just like his father.

Renault Sport Formula One Team driver Carlos Sainz will follow in the footsteps of his double World Rally Championship-winning father when he takes on the final stage of the 2018 Rallye Monte-Carlo.

The 23-year-old Spaniard will make his Monte-Carlo debut when he drives the 13.58km La Cabanette-Col de Braus Power Stage on 28 January in the New Renault Mégane R.S.

Carlos will pass through the stage as the VIP course car that checks the stage before the timed World Rally Championship contenders. The road starts in the Alpes-Maritimes surrounding the Principality of Monaco at 1,400m above sea level and descends through a series of tight hairpin bends before climbing again over a high mountain pass and ending at the Col de Braus.

For Carlos, this marks his official rally debut. His father won Rallye Monte-Carlo three times, in 1991, 1995 and 1998.

Carlos Sainz: “I’m really looking forward to experiencing Rallye Monte-Carlo for the first time. I’ve heard so much about it 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! It’s going to be a real thrill to take part in such a legendary event behind the wheel of a Renault Mégane R.S, which will be fitted with snow and studded tyres so I can get a more complete sensation of rallying around these stages.”

Fans will be able to follow the stage live as it will count as the rally-closing live TV Power Stage. Rallye Monte-Carlo starts on 25 January at 17h50 at Casino Square, Monaco, followed by two tough stages in darkness in the Alps near the town of Gap. The action remains close to the town on Friday and Saturday before Sunday’s finale in the Alpes Maritimes mountains above the Principality.

It is a big move to allow Carlos Jr. to participate as Renault learned a harsh lesson with Robert Kubica but they also seem keen to follow McLaren’s efforts in making the best use of their driver brand appeal and sharing their talents with other series. This has resonated very well with motorpsort fans who recall the halcyon days when F1 drivers drove in multiple disciplines.

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