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Sordo Leads in Shakedown #WRCPortugal

09/05/2024

Dani Sordo kicked off his return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) with a spectacular performance at Thursday morning’s shakedown for the Vodafone Rally de Portugal. The experienced Spaniard, participating in his 190th WRC rally, swiftly topped the leaderboard, leading a Hyundai i20 N 1-2-3 finish alongside teammates Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville.

Sordo, who last competed at the FORUM8 Rally Japan six months ago, showed no signs of rust as he maneuvered the 4.61km Baltar shakedown stage with precision and speed, securing the best time on his second and penultimate run. His comeback not only highlights his skill and determination but also sets an upbeat tone for his team.

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The rally did not proceed without its challenges, particularly for reigning world champion Kalle Rovanperä. The Toyota driver was plagued by a hybrid system issue early on, which necessitated a premature return to the Matosinhos service park, slightly dampening his start to the rally.

Sordo expressed his enthusiasm about racing in Portugal, a favorite among both drivers and spectators. “I’m really excited to be back in the car, especially in Portugal,” he shared. “It’s always a special rally for everyone. The ultimate goal in my mind is to win, but I am hoping to claim as many points as possible from the weekend for the team.”

Close behind Sordo, Sébastien Ogier of Toyota finished just a tenth behind Tänak, securing fourth place. The Frenchman is eager to redeem himself following last year’s challenges in Portugal. Adrien Fourmaux of M-Sport Ford, who was hot on Ogier’s heels, also showed promising pace.

As the rally gears up for the official start later today with the Figueira da Foz super special stage, the excitement builds. The crews will end the day in Coimbra, gearing up for the challenges that the Portuguese gravel will throw their way over the weekend.

Stay connected for more updates as the Vodafone Rally de Portugal continues to bring thrilling action and fierce competition to the heart of rallying.