Dani Sordo completed the 2016 Kennards Hire Rally Australia in fifth, recovering from his disaster on Day One in WRC, where he missed the start of the Newry stage. The result caps off a spectacular return to form for the Spaniard, with his highest points total since his Citroen days.
The 33-year-old, along with co-driver Marc Marti, spent the final rally with the Hyundai Motorsport N crew having been a part of the main team for most of the season. Despite falling to seventh at the end of the first day, he proved to be the most consistent Hyundai driver from then on, taking fifth in the final order, two seconds behind Hayden Paddon.
Sordo said: “We wanted to give it a big push on Sunday to see how strongly we could finish the rally – and the 2016 season. We were in a very close battle with Hayden for fourth, and we gave it a good attempt. Of course, whether you finish fourth or fifth in these circumstances doesn’t really matter but it was nice to score a Power Stage point for our efforts.”
While the point scored for third in the power stage didn’t help his overall championship standings, Sordo will now prepare for next season, where he stays at Hyundai with regulars Paddon and Thierry Neuville.
“Without the time penalty on Friday, we could have been fighting for the podium but these things happen,” he continued. “Thank you to the team for their work this season. We might have missed a victory along the way but we have taken a few podiums. It’s been a positive season and definitely gives us something to build on.”
Team Principal Michel Nanden also commented: “Dani was also unfortunate not to be able to fight for a better result. As a team, we have had a strong year. The New Generation i20 WRC has done us proud but it’s the result of hard work by the entire team.”
“We have shown a lot of progress and maturity this year, and I am personally grateful to every individual member of Hyundai Motorsport for their valuable contributions.”