Tuesday | 08 Apr 2014

Sordo replaces Hänninen in Argentina

Dani Sordo will replace Juho Hänninen in Hyundai’s Rally Argentina line-up following his strong performance at Rally de Portugal last weekend.

Sordo won two stages on Friday morning, the first for the i20 World Rally Car, and led the event. He was fourth, and top Hyundai performer, until retiring with a broken driveshaft on Sunday morning.

The Spaniard said before the event he hoped a good drive might prompt Hyundai to consider more gravel outings for him. His next rally was due to be August’s asphalt Rallye Deutschland, which he won last year.

Portugal was the first time the Korean manufacturer had run three cars, and the team initially examined the possibility of adding a third i20 for Sordo in Argentina to those already entered for lead driver Thierry Neuville and Hänninen.

Hänninen will complete the recce there and his next competitive outing will be at June’s Rally Italia Sardegna.

“I am very grateful to the team for giving me the opportunity to compete in Rally Argentina. We showed great pace and performance with the Hyundai i20 WRC in Portugal and it was a shame that we were not able to fight to the finish. I am keen to use that as a platform for Rally Argentina,” said Sordo

He has plenty of Argentine experience. He has started there seven times and finished second in 2009.

Juho Hänninen - no drive in Argentina

Team principal Michel Nandan said it was fair to add Sordo to the line-up following his Portugal performance.

“We had wanted to add a third car to our existing two-car entry, but it proved logistically and practically impossible given the tight timescales and the required repairs to the car from the last rally,” he said.

“We therefore discussed with Juho to move his next rally back to Sardinia, which he understood and graciously accepted. Juho will still play an important role with the team in Argentina in the recce,” added Nandan. 

Hänninen finished eighth in Portugal after a string of punctures and said he supported the decision. “Obviously, I would have loved to take part and I know the team considered three cars, but I appreciate it’s not possible in the circumstances,” he said.