Sordo’s forgotten comeback drive

Dani Sordo is known for his consistency and dependability, but on Rally Sweden 2008 he threw caution to the wind

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One of the standout performers at this year’s Acropolis Rally Greece was undoubtedly Dani Sordo. Having faced his fair share of scrutiny at the start of the year as some questioned his utility and future within Hyundai and indeed the sport, the Spaniard demonstrated exactly why he is worth his weight in gold to the Korean manufacturer.

As the rock-strewn stages above and around Lamia derailed the likes of Ogier, Tänak and Neuville, Sordo was, once again, able to walk that fine line between aggression and restraint. A measured approach that earned him a 56th career podium.

He may have a relatively modest three victories to his name, but Sordo’s unrelenting consistency has made him a long-standing stalwart of Hyundai, one that contributed significantly to those back-to-back manufacturer’s triumphs in 2019 and 2020.

But while many remember him as a reliable support act, it’s worth remembering (as I did upon viewing this picture on Girardo & Co’s extensive archive) that Sordo can, on his day, pull off an almighty comeback. None more seismic than the one you see here.


Sordo’s 2008 campaign got off to a troublesome start. After serving as a perfect rear gunner to team-mate Sébastien Loeb for much of the season opener in Monte Carlo, turbo problems on day three put an end to the Spaniard’s chances. To add insult to injury, the woes of Valence ended up following Sordo to the next event in Sweden. Such was the damage done to his C4’s engine, a replacement had to be fitted – a lengthy procedure that brought with it an immediate five-minute time penalty.

As a result, Sordo found himself in a lowly 60th place after the opening Swedish stage. A rare mistake from Loeb only added to Citroen’s woes, as the French manufacturer now looked to be leaving Scandinavia completely empty-handed.

Unwilling to throw in the towel just yet Sordo pressed on, benefitting somewhat from the high-profile retirements up front (in addition to Loeb, the likes of Per-Gunnar Anderson, Henning Solberg and Chris Atkinson all came unstuck) the Spanaird’s pace was nevertheless blistering. Nine top-five times including a stage win on his least favorite surface meant that by the end, Sordo had climbed an incredible 54 places to sixth, thus securing the three hardest championship points he’d ever earned.

Respite would come for Dani later that season – six podiums including an impressive run of three in a row allowed him to pip Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala to third place in the overall standings and help Citroen to a fourth manufacturer’s crown.

Having stood on the podium at least once in every single season since, it’s safe to say that the dogged determination that helped propel Sordo back into the points that weekend in Sweden 2008 still serves him well in his current, invaluable role at Hyundai.