Carlos Sainz has been one of the more famous Spanish drivers who have been part of the world of WRC. Now, a new emerging breed of Spaniards is coming ahead into the arena and Xavier Pons is one of those, who has earned an excellent reputaion for himself in Rallying, especially for the asphalt events.
Born on 21st January, 1980, Pons’ life was constantly surrounded by Rally races as his father competed in the Spanish National Championships. Xavier, himself, won the Spanish title to come into prominence in the 2002 season. He was chosen to start a select few events in the World Rally Championships behind the wheel of a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer. He didn’t fail to impress as he won his home rally stage in Spain, and finished at fifth place in the Wales Rally GB.
His schedule became busier in 2004 with a stint at the Junior World Rally Championships as well as the Production Car World Rally Championships series. Xavier, again, didn’t disappoint as he put in stellar performances for a win in Germany and France, while coming second in Australia. He finished fourth, overall, in the P-WRC standings at the end of the season.
It was about time that Pons stepped up into the driver’s seat of a World Rally Car. He started off in a privateer outfit that handed him a Peugeot 206 WRC car for the 2005 season-opener in Monte Carlo. This relationship didn’t last long, for the right reasons. Pons quickly moved up into the Kronos Racing team as the second driver in a Citroen Xsara WRC, alongside the Austrian, Manfred Stohl.
He drove for only a part of the entire calendar during which he finished at a respectable seventh in Rally Corsica and an incredible fourth in his home Rally of Catalunya. This resulted in him being given a full 2006 season’s chance, alongside the World Champion, Sebastien Loeb, in the Citroen Total World Rally Team. The Spaniard again stepped up to the occasion and scored nine point finishes and an overall seventh place finish at the end of 2006.
Pons started the 2007 season in a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC for the Rallies in Monte Carlo, Sweden and in Norway. He continued racing for Mitsubishi till the second half of the season when Rally giants, Subaru popped the question. And of course, Pons replied in the affirmative. In 2008, Xavier Pons will be driving alongside the likes of Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson in a Subaru World Rally Championship car. With a new car being developed, the team’s chances seem to be ready to change and Pons, partnered by navigator, Xavier Amigo, will surely be along for the ride.