Daniel 'Dani' Sordo
- May 02, 1983
- Fia World Rally Championship
- Hyundai Motorsport
Dani Sordo is a Spanish rally driver with more than 160 participations in the World Rally Championship since his debut in 2003. He was the Junior WRC champion in 2005.
Sordo scored two WRC victories and 45 podiums so far, finishing as third in the championship standings two times (2008 and 2009). He won 2013 ADAC Rallye Deutschland with Citroen Racing and 2019 Rally Italia Sardegna with Hyundai Motorsport.
Rally career started in 2001 with Mitsubishi
Daniel Sordo Castillo was born on May 2, 1983, in Torrelavega, Cantabria. Before he started rallying, Sordo competed successfully in the various motorsport disciplines (karting, motocross, hillclimb, touring cars). With Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI and Mitsubishi Carisma GT Evo VI, Sordo has won a few local rallies and rallysprints. In 2002, Sordo expanded his activities to Spanish championship, still with Carisma and Lancer.
WRC debut in 2003 at Rally Catalunya
He was supported by Mitsubishi Motors Espana in 2003 and competed with Lancer Evo VI at many national rallies, alongside his co-driver Juan Antonio Castillo. In October 2003, Dani debuted in the World Rally Championship, entering the Rally Catalunya with Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII. He finished 18th in the overall classification and second in N4 class.
Best Spanish junior rally driver
Sordo was the best Spanish junior rally driver in 2003 and he moved to factory-backed Citroen Saxo S1600 at last round of Spanish championship. His new co-driver was Carlos Del Barrio.
In 2004, Sordo continued to drive with Citroen C2 S1600 in the Spanish championship and again he was the best junior. He was accumulating international experience through selected WRC events, competing with Lancer Evo VII in Argentina, Germany and France, with 13th place at Corsica as his best result. At 2004 Rally Catalunya he was driving Citroen C2 S1600 and finished 20th overall (6th in class).
Dani was a world junior champion
For the 2005 Junior WRC competition Dani Sordo partnered with an experienced co-driver Marc Marti. Driving the powerful Citroen C2 S1600, they took the championship title with ease. Sordo won four of seven events and took the title with a big advantage over second-place Guy Wilks.
With five victories in Citroen C2 S1600 Sordo also won the Spanish championship title. His only title with a different car was the International Pirelli Rally in Finland, inside the Renault Clio Ragnotti.
First WRC season with Citroen Xsara
With championship title in his pocket, Sordo joined Kronos Racing team, which was in a fact the factory-backed Citroen's team in the World Rally Championship. Sordo was driving Citroen Xsara WRC in all of the 16 events that season. At the start of the season Sordo was the third driver, with Sebastien Loeb in the #1 Xsara and Xavier Pons in the #2 car.
Sordo scored points in his debut with Xsara at 2006 Rallye Monte-Carlo and later he made it to three podiums in Spain, France and Italy, driving the #14 car. He was then promoted to bethe team's second driver from 9th round onward. He finished second in Germany with #2 Xsara and collected more points at three events, to finish 5th in the championship standings.
Supporting driver to Sebastien Loeb
In the following four seasons, Sordo was the second driver in the Citroën Sport factory team, supporting Sebastien Loeb, who conquered the world championship four more times. Duo Loeb – Sordo secured four consecutive manufacturers' title for Citroen.
In 2007, the brand new Citroen C4 WRC came as a replacement for Xsara. Sordo took seven podiums with a new car and finished fourth in the championship standings. He was closest to victory at his home event in Spain where he led a WRC event for the first time, but at the end, he finished second 13.8 seconds behind Loeb.
First victory with WRC car in Finland's national championship
In 2008, Sordo had a bad start of the season, but later he took six podiums to finish third in the championship classification. In July, he won the SM O.K. Auto-Ralli in Finland, which was the preparation event for the Rally Finland. It was his first victory in a WRC car.
Sordo was again third in the 2009 World Rally Championship, with seven podiums in twelve events. At the end of the year, he returned to Spain to compete in his hometown at the Rally de Torrelavega. His old co-driver Carlos Del Barrio joined him in the Citroen C2 S1600 and they won the event.
Ogier demoted Sordo in Citroen's hierarchy
Sordo started the season 2010 with a victory in Finland's Arctic Lapland Rally. That was the preparation for the opening event of the 2010 WRC season Rally Sweden. During the season, he was sharing the #2 car with the rising star Sebastien Ogier, who competed together with Kimi Raikkonen for the Citroen Junior Team.
Ogier won two events (Portugal and Japan) and finished fourth in the championship while Sordo was still without victories and finished one place behind Ogier. Sordo's co-driver in five events was Diego Vallejo.
Two WRC podiums in maiden season with Mini
For the 2011 season Sordo joined Mini WRC Team, driving the #37 Mini Cooper JCW WRC alongside Carlos Del Barrio. They started the season in Italy, at the fifth round of the championship, taking the sixth place. Later that season Sordo scored podiums in Germany and France, finishing the rally in France with a just 6.3sec gap behind Sebastien Ogier. After six events with Mini, Sordo finished 8th in the championship standings.
Second place for Mini at Rallye Monte-Carlo
For 2012, Mini was planning to compete full season, but during the year, Prodrive took over all Mini operations in the championship. Sordo's best result was second place at Rallye Monte-Carlo and after seven rallies he finished 11th in the final classification. At 2012, Rally Argentina Sordo participated with Ford World Rally Team, as a replacement for injured Jari-Matti Latvala. Besides competing in the WRC, Sordo was driving the S2000 version of the Mini at the Tour de Corse, which was the part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, and took the victory.
First WRC victory for Dani at Rallye Deutschland
In 2013, Sordo rejoined Citroen to drive the DS3 WRC. He competed with two cars (#3 and #10) and finally scored his first WRC victory at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, after two leading Volkswagen drivers Ogier and Latvala crashed out. After 12 events, with one victory and two more podiums, Sordo finished 5th in the 2013 championship.
New adventure with Hyundai Motorsport
In 2014, Sordo joined another new project with Hyundai Motorsport but also changed a co-driver and again paired with Marc Marti. Sordo retired in the first three events with Hyundai i20 WRC and finally finished his first rally with a new car in August in Germany. He took second place behind teammate Thierry Neuville, in a historic event for the team with their first victory. After six events with Hyundai Sordo finished 10th in the championship and extended the contract for 2015.
In the 2015 championship season, Sordo's best result with Hyundai i20 WRC was third place at Rally Catalunya. He scored points nine more times and finished 8th in the final classification.
The third season with Hyundai followed in 2016, again with Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon as teammates in the brand-new version of the Huyndai i20 WRC. Sordo scored two podiums to finish fifth in the points.
New World Rally Cars came in 2017, Dani stayed with Hyundai
For the 2017 WRC season, a new 380-hp World Rally Cars were introduced. Sordo was driving the #6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in eleven events the the #16 car at Wales Rally GB. He scored third-place finishes at Tour de Corse and Rally Portugal, ending the season sixth in the points.
For the 2018 WRC season, Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen have been chosen as primary drivers while Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon shared the third car. Sordo's navigator in 2018 was Carlos del Barrio, who served with him earlier from 2011 to 2013. They were on a podium two times and Sordo finished ninth in the championship points.
Second WRC victory at Rally Italia Sardegna
In 2019, Sordo stayed on a part-time schedule with Hyundai, combining his rides with his former teammate Sebastien Loeb. Sordo skipped the first two rounds and started a season in Mexico, finishing ninth. He was then fourth at Tour de Corse, sixth at Rally Argentina and 23rd in Portugal.
Then, in June, Sordo sensationally clinched his second WRC victory in a career by winning the Rally Italia Sardegna. Sordo entered the last special stage in the second place but the victory came following Ott Tanak's misfortune on the very last special stage, promoting Sordo and his navigator Carlos del Barrio to the top podium spot.
He was the only driver to win a rally besides three dominant drivers who fought for the title (Tanak, Neuville, Ogier). Thanks to that achievement, Hyundai retains him as a part-time driver for the 2020 WRC season.
Photos: danielsordo.com, ewrc.cz, Petr Fitz, Petr Sagner, Petr Sagner, Willy Weyens,