Dani Sordo has confirmed to DirtFish that Rally Japan will not be his last event as a World Rally Championship driver.
Sordo has been a Hyundai driver ever since it returned to the WRC in 2014, but his place in next year’s driver lineup was far from guaranteed.
The team will once again retain the services of Thierry Neuville, but also re-signed Ott Tänak to partner him leaving several drivers vying for limited part-time spots.
Hyundai confirmed on Thursday that Esapekka Lappi would fulfill a part-time program in an i20 N Rally1 next year, but didn’t make any comment on the rest of its 2024 driver lineup.
The broad expectation was that this weekend’s Rally Japan would be Sordo’s final WRC rally, but the Spaniard has told DirtFish he should contest at least Rally Portugal next year.
“For sure I will not finish here [in Japan],” Sordo said.
“It would be really sad for the spectators, my friends, my family to stop in Japan, on the other side of the world.
“For sure I don’t know what I will do next year but for sure I will try to do at least Portugal. If it is my last year I don’t know, it would be so sad to finish here.
“I promised my mom they will see me drive again at least one time. It will not finish here. I’m sure if I ask Portugal I can do. If I asked Hyundai if I can do Portugal with the test car or wherever, it will be OK.
“But let’s see. I will try to do next year, four or five races.”
Could it be that Sordo shares his drive with Lappi in 2024?
“I don’t know, I don’t have any more information,” Sordo added. “We will have a really, good, strong lineup with Thierry, Ott and Esapekka for some rallies, and then we see.”
What Lappi’s confirmed drive and Sordo’s comments could mean for Teemu Suninen’s place within Hyundai’s lineup are unclear, but team principal Cyril Abiteboul assured DirtFish that both drivers are under consideration.
“At some point we will have to make some decision, but for the time being as I said there are a few options, there are a few names, and those two names [Sordo and Suninen] are very much on the list,” he said.