Dani Sordo to get new Hyundai for WRC Portugal after damage in Croatia  

Dani Sordo is set to start his 2022 WRC part-time season with Hyundai in one week’s time behind the wheel of the third i20 N Rally 1, which he shares with Oliver Solberg. The premier will be the Rally de Portugal, fourth round of the season to be held from  May19 to 22 . 

This will be the Spaniard’s ninth season with the Asian team, and this time around, he will start the year with a new machine. At the Croatian Rally last time around, Solberg suffered an accident which resulted in extensive damage to his car. The Swedish driver lost control of the vehicle in a high-speed left turn and slid down a small grass embankment, crashing the rear of the car against some trees. 

Fortunately, both Solberg and his co-pilot Elliot Edmonson were uninjured. Their car, however, did not suffer the same fate. Despite the moderate impact, the rear of the car caught fire due to heat coming from the exhaust. 

The flames were soon extinguished but the red light of the hybrid system came on, which meant the car could not be driven again for the rest of the rally. This warning light is a precautionary measure as the new Rally 1 vehicles could cause an electric shock. 

Following the incident, both the FIA and the hybrid kits supplier, Compact Dynamics, undertook a series of safety checks on the I20 ahead of this being transferred to the team’s headquarters in Alzenau (Germany). 

Although it seems that the damage could have been repaired, Hyundai has decided to build a new chassis. Conscious of the Spaniard’s potential in Portugal, where he has taken five WRC podiums with Hyundai and Citroen, the South Korean team wants to prevent any problems or setbacks with its machine. 

And not wanting to leave anything to fate ahead of the battle on the Iberian Peninsula, the team’s full-time drivers, Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak, together with Dani Sordo himself, completed some preliminary tests this week in Portugal. 

Dani Sordo, happy to race in Portugal

Portugal is always really nice, so I am very happy that this will be my first event of the season, as I’ve scored a podium here twice in the past with Hyundai. I’m excited to drive the car on gravel for the first time“, said Dani Sordo.
“I’m hoping to have a good rhythm with the car and adapt myself quickly to this new challenge. It won’t be easy as the other drivers have done three rallies already, so I hope the feeling for the car comes quickly”, concluded the Spaniard.
Source. Motorsport.com

Images: Hyundai Motorsport.

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