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Spain’s Xavier ‘Xevi’ Pons will contest the second half of 2007 and entire 2008 World Rally Championship seasons with the Subaru World Rally Team.

The 27-year-old will drive a third Impreza WRC2007 for the last eight rallies of this
year – starting with Rally Finland on 3-5 August – as a precursor to a full campaign in 2008. The Subaru World Rally Team also has an option on Xevi’s services for 2009.

Pons, who will be co-driven by Xavier Amigo, has competed in 52 World Rally Championship events and scored a best finish of fourth place, which he has achieved five times.

Richard Taylor, Subaru World Rally Team managing director, said: “We’re delighted to be able to field a car for Xevi. It is a huge bonus to get another experienced driver into the team to complement our existing driver line-up. Although Xevi has been around in the WRC for a few years, he has never driven a Subaru in all that time, but we’re looking forward to welcoming him into our team and developing a working relationship with him.

“The logistics of running three cars instead of two will not present a problem for the team, bearing in mind we ran three cars on selected events last season. We always maintained that we’d be happy to expand our team again if we could find a driver who is serious about his approach to the sport and Xevi fits that bill perfectly.”

Xevi Pons added: “We have worked very hard to make this happen and I’m very happy to be back in the World Rally Championship with a top team. This is a fantastic opportunity to prove myself against the best drivers, and I want to repay the faith the Subaru World Rally Team has shown in me by producing excellent results. It will be a great experience for me to be part of the same team as Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson, and I can’t wait to drive the Impreza WRC2007 for the first time.”

Pons, who finished seventh in the WRC points standings in 2006, will get acquainted with the Subaru Impreza WRC2007 on the team’s pre-Rally Finland gravel test in the middle
of July.

Xavier Pons fast facts

Born: 21 January 1980 in Vic, Barcelona
Lives: Manlleu, Barcelona
Rally debut: 2002

Pons started his motorsport career on enduro bikes, and won the Spanish Senior Championship in 1998. He also finished second in the European Championship and third in the world standings.

He made the switch to rallying in 2002 and competed in the Spanish and Catalunya gravel championships, winning three events.

In 2003 Pons made his debut on the world stage, driving a Group N car on the Swedish Rally – his first experience of rallying on snow.

He scored his first WRC points by finishing seventh on Rally de France – Tour de Corse in 2005.

The Spaniard claimed his first WRC stage win on Rally Argentina 2006.

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