Sordo slid off the road on a right-hand bend four kilometres into the rain-hit 44.02-kilometre Terra Alta stage and got stuck in bushes five metres from the road. He is expected to restart on day two when Prodrive team principal Dave Wilcock expects Sordo to fly on his favoured asphalt surface.
“It’s just gone away from us so it’s all about setting fastest stage times from now on,” said Prodrive team principal Dave Wilcock. “There’s no damage to the car, he’s just gone down five metres off the road and can’t get back on. It’s disappointing for all of us and it’s sort of summed up our year when we’ve not managed to get the momentum and keep it going. It was a really slippery section and he knew it was because we’d spoken about it only minutes before. He was just a little bit off line, locked up and couldn’t recover it.”
While Sordo’s challenge is over, team-mate Jarkko Nikara continues to impress on his debut in a MINI John Cooper Works WRC. After four stages the Finn is seventh overall, despite managing only 50 kilometres of pre-event asphalt testing in the car.