Hyundai has confirmed this Wednesday the extension of Spanish driver Dani Sordo’s contract for the 2020 season of the World Rally Championship (WRC).
The Spaniard, just as he did over the past years, will compete for the South Korean team on a part-time basis. Specifically, Sordo will take the wheel of the i20WRC in seven of next year’s Calendar rallies.
“I am delighted to continue working within such a team and I am going to do everything in my power to get some great results and contribute to Hyundai winning the constructors title. The team has truly become like a family to me and we have shared some fantastic moments together” – The Spaniard has declared.
“The highlight has to be the victory in Sardinia this year, but we have had many competitive rallies over the years, including the memorable one-two in Germany in our first season. I feel very happy and comfortable with the team, but just as importantly I feel as competitive as ever” – explained Dani Sordo.
“The Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC is a strong car on all surfaces, and alongside Carlos (del Barrio) I have had strong pace in many events this year, even if the results haven’t always gone our way”– continued Sordo.
Consistency and a great rhythm
There is no doubt that his positive results of 2018, when he got two podiums, second in Mexico and third in Argentina, as well as his 2019 triumph in Sardinia, have contributed to this extension. During this season Sordo has been very competitive on all surfaces, always in the fight for the first positions at every appointment.
At 36 years of age, Dani Sordo is going through a second youth and through one of the best moments in his career. During the current season, he has only been held back by mechanical issues with his i20WRC otherwise he would have visited the podium more often. His consistency and reliability on the eastern missile have earned him his continuity with the team.
Released from the pressure of a full-time commitment, where he would have to take part in every single race in the calendar, Sordo is performing at his best.
It is therefore not at all surprising that he has managed to keep one of the most coveted seats in the championship. Not in vain, the Korean team is currently in the lead of the constructors’ standings.
Team director Andrea Adamo has said of Dani Sordo that he remains one of the most versatile and competitive drivers of the WRC;
“His win in Sardinia was an exceptional performance but he has shown his pace and potential in most of the rallies he has joined. For that reason, it was a logical decision for him to continue with our team for another year”.
Dani Sordo has been part of the team from Alzenau since 2014, the year he went back to the WRC. Since then, his consistency and performance have gained him the trust of the team.
A level of trust now endorsed with this contract extension. The spaniard will now return to action at his next home race, the Rally RACC Catalunya – Spain, which is due to start on October the 24th.
In front of his fans, Sordo will try and help Hyundai maintain its first place in the constructors’ standings, where it leads closely followed by the Toyota GAZOO Racing team, seven points below.
Dani Sordo’s likely teammates in 2020
It is highly likely that, as he has during 2019, Dani Sordo will share his seat with nine-time World Champion, Sébastien Loeb, who is expected to dispute six races next season.
If this is confirmed, the most successful driver in WRC history will defend Hyundai’s colours for the second consecutive year. With Thierry Neuville confirmed as the undisputed leader, doubts arise as to Andreas Mikkelsen’s status.
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Thanks to his contractual arrangements, the Norwegian driver has secured his participation in all of the appointments of 2018 and 2019. His disappointing results, however, mean his future is up in the air for 2020.
Something similar can be said about Craig Breen. The former Citroën driver has reappeared in the WRC in Finland and Great Britain with Hyundai, where he has finished in the seventh and eighth positions, respectively.
Images: Dani Sordo & Hyundai Motorsport