Thirty years ago, Spanish rally driver Carlos Sainz Sr. made his World Rally Championship début on the 1987 Rally Portugal. On this year’s edition of the Portuguese WRC round, held last weekend, the Spaniard, who went on to become World Rally Champion in 1990 and 1992 with Toyota, and narrowly missed out on a third title in 1998, not just joined the event as a commentator for Red Bull TV, but also returned to action by tackling the Fafe stage, well known for its big jump, at the wheel of a Peugeot 208 T16, with his historic co-driver Luis Moya at the pace notes.
Sainz Sr., whose son Carlos Sainz Jr. now competes in Formula 1 with Scuderia Toro Rosso, has been associated with Peugeot since 2015. He plays a vital role in the French manufacturer’s cross-country rally team, where he helped develop the Dakar Rally-winning Peugeot DKR. In association with Peugeot Spain, he also acts as a mentor for his young countrymen José Antonio Suarez and Pepe Lopez, part of the French company’s Peugeot Rally Academy programme.
“Red Bull and Peugeot gave me a great opportunity to combine an exciting challenge with a chance to catch up again with the world of top-flight rallying, says Carlos Sr.
As a stage, Fafe has changed enormously and the reference points aren’t the same anymore. Luis [Moya] and I had tremendous fun recalling old times and our memories of recce. The Peugeot Rally Academy’s junior driver Pepe Lopez was also there to watch how I drove his PEUGEOT 208T16. I wish him the very best of luck for the rest of his European Rally Championship programme
You can watch Sainz’s run on Fafe stage on Red Bull’s website, at this link.