Citroen works team driver Dani Sordo will start Rally Deutschland with a new co-driver after splitting from his partner of five years, Marc Marti.

Sordo has replaced Marti with another Spaniard, Diego Vallejo, 37, in a bid to improve his competitiveness at a time when his place at the factory team is under scrutiny.

In a statement on his website, Sordo wrote that he and Marti had reached an ‘amicable agreement’ to stop working together and that he had decided to ‘move a lever to force a personal change’ which he believes will improve his performance.

"I need a change in the car,” explained Sordo. “Marc has been an excellent partner for all these years, he’s someone I am grateful to and with whom I have learned a lot, but I finally concluded that the best thing is for us not to work together as a pilot and co-pilot.”

Sordo said that Vallejo had been chosen for several reasons: "I know him personally for a long time, so the human relationship is very good. Furthermore, we did a test for me to check his work and how it fitted with my needs. I am convinced will be a good co-pilot for me at this crucial juncture. "

Sordo and Vallejo have a two day test planned before their competitive debut kicks off in Trier on 20 August.
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