The mixed-surface rally, which kicks off on 25 October, features two days of asphalt competition on Friday and Saturday, before a switch to gravel for Sunday's final day. In accordance with FIA regulations, drivers will tackle the opening day’s stages in championship order, and days two and three in rally classification order.
But Sordo, who drives for Citroen’s factory team, said the disadvantage of running first through Sunday’s loose gravel stages would force some drivers to deliberately drop time on Saturday to avoid being overnight leader.
Sordo said: “The overall leader at the end of the tarmac stages will be first on the road the next day, sweeping the racing line for everyone else. The gravel stages are so slippery that the leader won’t be able to prevent his challengers from making up ground on him. It’s a shame, because that will undoubtedly lead to strategies being adopted to avoid that situation.”
With backing from a number of WRC teams, Rally de Espana organisers had requested a waiver of the road order regulations to allow them to introduce a different, reversed, start order on Sunday, but this was rejected by the FIA.
“I’m really disappointed that there is no reclassification at the end of the second leg. What is the point in pushing hard, building up a good lead, if you then find yourself first on the road, sweeping the line for your rivals on the Sunday?” added Sordo.