- Hyundai Motorsport’s Spanish driver Dani Sordo is one of the most experienced racers in the FIA World Rally Championship. This weekend he returns to his home nation bidding for a podium finish.
At 33-years-old, Sordo is one of WRC's most experienced drivers. Currently sitting in sixth place in the 2016 WRC standings with 92 points to his name, he'll be gunning for glory at the Rally de España to lift him up the table.
An avid racer, Sordo started out competing in motocross, karting and hill-climbing in the late 1990s. It was in 2001 that he first took got behind the wheel of a rally car, in his hometown of Ciudad de Torrelavega, and he contested several events in the following year’s Spanish Championship. Having caught the rallying bug, Sordo made the move to the WRC in 2003 at Rally Catalunya, while also taking part in – and dominating – that year’s Spanish Tarmac Rally Championship.
The 2004 season saw Sordo compete in a few more WRC events, but his most notable victory was claiming the Spanish Rally Championship. Following a successful 2005 season in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship, which saw Sordo win in Sardinia, Finland, Germany and Catalunya, he moved to Citroën Racing in 2006 – finishing an impressive fifth in the Drivers’ Championship. Sordo followed this up with a fourth-place finish in 2007 and third in both 2008 and 2009.
First WRC win
After spending the 2011 and 2012 seasons competing with the MINI World Rally Team, he finally ended years of waiting in 2013 by clinching his first rally victory with a determined drive in Rallye Deutschland. After 34 podiums from 106 starts, Sordo appeared destined to be the "nearly man" of rallying, but beat his future team mate Thierry Neuville by 53.0 seconds following a final stage showdown that was only settled when the Belgian went off the road 3km from the finish.
Ahead of the 2014 season, Sordo joined Hyundai Motorsport and claimed second place in the team’s momentous 1-2 in Germany that year, before adding to his podium success in 2015 by taking third place in last year’s Rally de España.
2016 Rally de España
This weekend the World Rally Championship (WRC) heads to the town of Salou in Spain for the Rally de España. Between 13 October and 16 October, drivers will tackle the only event in the calendar where crews must tackle mixed surfaces, racing through familiar roads in the hills of Tarragona. Opening on Thursday night with a street stage in the Montjuïc area of Barcelona, the action moves on to predominantly gravel on Friday, with asphalt sections in the long Terra Alta test. Saturday mixes roads with a test along Salou seafront, and the event ends on Sunday with two tests and the live TV Power Stage.
Along with his Hyundai Motorsport teammates Thierry Neuville, Hayden Paddon and Kevin Abbring, Dani Sordo is bidding for his first WRC victory of the 2016 season. With its blend of asphalt and gravel stages Rally de España promises to be challenging course for the whole team.
All eyes will be on Spain this weekend for the 2016 event, as Sordo and the Hyundai Motorsport team will be hoping to do even better than last year and clinch victory in Salou.