Carlos Sainz says he will quit at the end of the season, bringing to an end a 16-year WRC career in which the Spanish veteran has won 26 rallies and clinched two world championship titles.

Carlos Sainz says he will quit at the end of the season, bringing to an end a 16-year WRC career in which the Spanish veteran has won 26 rallies and clinched two world championship titles.


The man known as El Matador to his many fans worldwide will compete in Spain and Australia for Citroën, before taking a step back to spend more time with his family.


"It is time for me to dedicate my life to my family after 16 years competing in the world championship," the 42-year old veteran said this week. He added, however, that the expansion of the WRC calendar and the uncertainty over the sport's future hadmade it easier for him to decide against competing next season.

Sainz made his rally début in a local Madrid event 25 years ago, and won the world championship in 1990 and 1992. His first WRC victory was in the 1990 Acropolis Rally and his last was this year's Rally Argentina – providing he doesn't win either of his final two events. He has been on the podium a further six times in 2004, prompting speculation that he may continue, but appears set to call time on his career after 195 events.


Despite his advancing years, Sainz has ably supported team-mate Sébastien Loeb, who won his maiden WRC title in Corsica, and was instrumental in Citroën's back-to-back manufacturer's title victories in 2003 and 2004. He currently lies fourth overall in the individual standings, two points behind Ford's Markko Martin.


"It has been a extremely difficult decision, mainly because I still enjoy every single rally,” Sainz said. “The fact that I am currently in the best team, with the possibility of continuing during the next season, made this decision even more complicated," he added.

Original article from Car