June 14, 2024 New York

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This Week In Motors - ThisWeekInMotors > Blog > OFF-ROAD > SAINZ GETTING CLOSER TO FORD W2RC DEAL

SAINZ GETTING CLOSER TO FORD W2RC DEAL

Two-time world champion Carlos Sainz is on the brink of finalizing a deal with M-Sport Ford, which could be sealed within the next month. This agreement would see him joining Ford’s Dakar program later this season.

After securing his fourth Dakar victory earlier this year, Sainz became a free agent following Audi’s exit from off-road racing with the RS Q e-tron. He’s currently back with X-Raid team for Rally-Raid Portugal, driving the Mini JCW Rally Plus to familiarize himself with the T1+ category, the class in which Ford’s new M-Sport-prepared Ranger will compete.

Speaking to DirtFish, Sainz expressed his interest in participating in Portugal to gain insights into the T1+ category, which would be valuable if he were to join Ford. He indicated that negotiations with Ford are progressing well and expressed hope for a swift conclusion to the deal.

When asked about the likelihood of returning to an official Ford rally car for the fourth time in his career, Sainz stated the odds were more than 50-50. He emphasized the need to finalize the deal, aiming for completion within the next month, followed by testing once the car is ready.

Sainz’s potential debut in the Ranger could occur at October’s Morocco Rally, a traditional prelude to the Dakar season.

While currently leading the W2RC standings into Portugal’s third round, Sainz dismissed suggestions of pursuing a third FIA world title in 2024. He ruled out competing in Argentina, making it challenging to vie for the championship, although he acknowledged the possibility of reassessing based on results in Portugal and Morocco.

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