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  Tuesday, 8 October, 2002, 05:38 GMT 06:38 UK
McRae splits with Grist
Ford's Colin McRae
McRae and Grist: Together since 1997
Former word rally champion Colin McRae and co-driver Nicky Grist have parted with immediate effect.

Derek Ringer, with whom McRae won the 1995 world title, will partner the Scot for the final two rounds of this season in Australia and Great Britain.

"This is a joint decision by myself and Nicky," said McRae, who is joining Citroen next year.

"Our in-car relationship has been strained for the past 12 months or so, and after long discussions we've decided that a change is the best way forward for both of us.

"Neither of us wish to go into specific details but this is an amicable parting."

Positive fashion

Since joining forces in 1997, the partnership have won 17 world rallies with two different teams.

McRae added: "I would like to finish the year, and my career with Ford, in a positive fashion and that means going all out for victory in Australia and Britain."

Welshman Grist said: "I have not yet thought about my future and I'll take time to assess my options.

"Co-driving is still a strong possibility and I would like to stress that this decision does not signify my retirement from the sport."

Ringer, also a Scot, has been released from his contract with Mitsubishi.

He joined McRae in his junior days in the sport and the pair rose to the top, winning the 1995 world title on the final round in Britain.

Their partnership ended after the 1996 season.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Nicky Grist
"The relationship had not been going well"
BBC Five Live's Greg Strange
"This move is not unexpected"
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