It has taken nearly 10 years, but Dani Sordo finally has a victory in the World Rally Championship with victory at ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
After being in the shadow of the likes of one time team-mate Sebastien Loeb, the Spaniard finally added a victory to 34 podiums from 106 starts.
The Citroen driver beat Thierry Neuville (Ford) by 53.0sec following a final stage showdown that was only settled when the Belgian went off the road 3km from the finish. Up until that point his advantage was only three seconds.
“It’s a great moment for me,” said Sordo.
“Thierry was pushing so hard. He was a little slower than me at first but then he was faster so I needed to push harder. I was so nervous at the start but this win is something I’ve dreamed of for many years.”
After the demise of early leader Sebastien Ogier, who broke his Volkswagen Polo R’s suspension after crashing early in the second leg, team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala led with Sordo and Neuville duelling behind.
Second for Neuville, in his first full WRC season, extended a superb run of results which netted two seconds and a third before this event.
“I feel we proved a lot again, even if we did ultimately just miss out on the win,” said Neuville.
“I decided we were going to go for it on the final stage, but coming out of the forest, I mistook one fast left-hand corner in the vineyards for another and we went off.
“By the time Nico (Gilsoul, co-driver) announced the pace note, it was already too late. Luckily we were able to rejoin the road and make it to the finish,” he added.
WRC 2 winner Robert Kubica and second-placed Elfyn Evans completed the top six, in a Citroen DS3 RRC and Ford Fiesta R5 respectively.
Latvala recovered from his crash to take seventh, having led asphalt rally for the first time, with Hayden Paddon’s WRC 2 Skoda Fabia S2000 eighth.
Sebastien Ogier salvaged three points by winning the final Power Stage and the Frenchman holds a 75 point lead in the drivers’ standings over Neuville. Latvala is third, 11 points behind.
The next stop in the WRC is Coates Hire Rally Australia on 12-15 September.
VIDEO: Final day highlights
FINAL POSITIONS: ADAC Rallye Deutschland
|1||Dani Sordo||Citroën Total Abu Dhabi Word Rally Team||Citroën DS3 WRC||3:15m:9.4|
|2||Thierry Neuville||Qatar World Rally Team||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+0:53.0|
|3||Mikko Hirvonen||Citroën Total Abu Dhabi Word Rally Team||Citroën DS3 WRC||+2m36.1|
|4||Martin Prokop||Jipocar Czech National Team||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+8m00.8|
|5||Robert Kubica*||Robert Kubica||Citroën DS3 RRC||+9m01.3*|
|6||Elfyn Evans*||Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team||Ford Fiesta R5||+9m14.2|
|7||Jari-Matti Latvala||Volkswagen Motorsport||Volkswagen Polo WRC||+9m55.0|
|8||Hayden Paddon*||Hayden Paddon||Skoda Fabia S2000||+13m01.2|
|9||Mads Ostberg||Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+13m28.1|
|10||Evgeny Novikov||Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team||Skoda Fabia S2000||+15m17.9|