Sordo’s Sardinia shock

Carlos del Barrio revealed that only when he and Dani Sordo arrived at Sunday’s Wolf Power Stage podium were they sure a dramatic last-gasp victory at Rally Italia Sardegna was theirs.

There were confused looks on the faces of the Spaniards when they pulled into the finish of the Sassari - Argentiera test expecting to seal a second place finish in their Hyundai i20.

Instead a message flashed up on their car’s digital display saying ‘Tänak stopped’. They departed the finish line for the podium while the Estonian limped through the stage with broken steering on his Toyota Yaris, his lead ebbing away.

When they arrived at the podium and learned a 26.7sec deficit had been turned into a 13.7sec victory, an emotional Sordo leaped into the arms of team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen and Thierry Neuville.

“We were not aware of what was happening,” said del Barrio. “We had some news on the phone, but nothing was sure. Then we came to the podium area and saw the faces of fans and our team-mates, they were really happy. At that moment, we knew we were the winners.

“Of course, I’m very sorry for Ott and his team. They did an amazing job throughout the weekend, but this is part of the game,” he said.

It was only Sordo’s second WRC victory, his other success coming alongside del Barrio in Germany in 2013.

Speculation links Sordo with an i20 seat for the WRC’s next round at Neste Rally Finland (1 -4 August) but he was not giving anything away.

“It’s a nice place, nice roads, and it’s a nice rally. It’s not my favourite rally, but I don’t have the scare of Finland. I will not talk about anything that we don’t know yet,” said Sordo, who celebrated victory with the traditiona leap into Alghero harbour.


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