The Sordo assumption we’ve all got wrong

Hyundai's long-serving part-time driver doesn't like fast gravel rallies, right?

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Work out the last time Dani Sordo competed on a traditional high-speed World Rally Championship event.
Hard isn’t it?

In fact, you will be casting your mind all the way back to 2017, when he contested that season’s Rally Finland.

It’s fair to say that Finland that year wasn’t a great event for Sordo. He ended up finishing ninth overall, and was constantly frustrated by his lack of pace compared to his rivals. And by SS10 his frustration had got the better of him.

“Not enjoying it. My head is not in the race,” he said.

Even at the end of SS15, after improving the car he was still unhappy about his own performance.

“It was fun, and the feeling is a little better. The car is not bad but the driver is not fast enough this weekend.”

The rally was a miserable one for Sordo and, in the end, he finished the event over four minutes behind eventual winner Esapekka Lappi.

WRC Rally Finland, Jyvaskyla 27 - 30 July 2017

Since then, Sordo has been absent from traditional high speed events, instead going on to only regularly contest technical gravel and asphalt rallies like Rally of Portugal, Rally Spain, Acropolis Rally and Rally Japan.

These are events Sordo excels at, and it became an almost obvious assumption that the reason why he only competes on certain WRC events is the fact that he doesn’t enjoy high-speed rallies.

But as Sordo has pointed out, that’s not quite true.

“It’s not like I don’t like to go to Finland or Estonia,” Sordo explained to DirtFish.

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“I really like these fast rallies.

“But because now the people say ‘you don’t like Finland’ but I like Finland.

“I like to drive in Finland, for sure it’s super nice, and in Estonia for sure, but I prefer other rallies.”

And therein lies the answer as to why Sordo doesn’t go to Finland or Estonia, and why it’s highly unlikely he will revert to a full-time program with Hyundai.

It’s not because he doesn’t like the fast-natured stages. It’s because he fully accepts that he doesn’t possess the pace on those rallies to match his rivals.

“The pace I have… I am a fast driver and I can be really, really fast on one type of stages but in other type of places, I am not fast,” said the Hyundai driver.

“So this is why sometimes I am not… altogether it is not bringing me more things.


“Some rallies I can be really fast, other rallies I’m not, but I’m not constantly fast on all the surfaces.

“When it’s very slippery I, also this car is a bit more difficult to drive, but when it’s very slippery I don’t feel the car.

“But when you have grip and it’s nice to drive I can be there.”

Sordo will contest the next two events on the calendar, Rally Italy and Safari Rally Kenya, but Hyundai should have his new team-mate in place before the WRC returns to its fast-gravel rallies in Estonia and Finland.

Words:Rob Hansford