The Spaniard was fastest in a Citroen DS3 over the 4.98km Vale do Judeu stage by 0.7sec from championship leader Sebastien Ogier’s Volkswagen Polo R.
Ogier’s team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala, was just one-tenth of a second slower and Mads Ostberg completed the top four, another tenth of a second behind, in a Ford Fiesta RS.
Sordo’s qualifying win follows his victory in the Fafe Rally Sprint, a warm-up for this fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship, in northern Portugal last weekend.
It represents a turnaround in form for the 29-year-old, who cut a forlorn figure on the gravel roads of Rally Mexico last month. Although he finished fourth, he was more than six minutes behind the winner.
Sordo will now have first choice of his starting position when the 13 drivers in WRC cars make their selections this afternoon.
With the stages dry and covered in loose gravel in places, it would be a major surprise if he opted for anywhere other than last of the top priority drivers to make the most of roads swept clean by those drivers ahead.
Mikko Hirvonen was fifth fastest in the Citroen team’s other nominated DS3, the Finn 1.3sec behind his colleague. Evgeny Novikov rounded off the top six in a Fiesta RS, 0.3sec behind the Finn.