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Kimathi Announces New Co-Driver For Portugal

Stuart Loudon will replace Mwangi Kioni as co-driver to FIA Junior WRC rookie McRae Kimathi for this week’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

The pair will be on Ford Fiesta R3 on the Junior World Rally Championship round three as the Kenyan youngster tries to improve his performance after retiring on the final day of Croatia Rally.

“I just really thought about things and I thought we both needed to learn from somebody who can help us to understand more about what European rallies are all about,” Kimathi told WRC.

“It’s just a one-time move as a kind of benchmarking tool to help both of us. I picked Stuart because he’s competed in Kenya with Onkar Rai and he also understands these types of rallies.

“It’s just to help me get to this level that the other Junior WRC drivers are at, to get to that benchmark level,” he added.

The British professional navigator has started almost 150 rallies, including over 20 FIA World Rally Championship events.

He previously joined M-Sport Ford driver Gus Greensmith at Rally Italia Sardegna last season and also contested the 2012 junior series with his Scottish compatriot John MacCrone.

“I think my role here is really just to try and push the experience of Mcrae and Mwangi,” Loudon said.

“It’s obviously been a big transition for them, coming from Kenyan rallies to the WRC, and in fairness to them, they managed to get through Sweden and Croatia. That’s not an easy task.

“Hopefully I can pass on the best of my knowledge this weekend and get Mcrae to the finish. That’s going to be the main objective,” he added.

Kimathi and Mwangi Kioni made their Junior World Rally Championship debut in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta in WRC Sweden two months ago.

That was their first of five events leading to the global title followed by Croatia, Portugal, Estonia and Greece.

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