Dani Sordo increases his collection of podiums in Portugal: “Maybe this will be my last time”

Of every two visits to the Rally de Portugal, Dani Sordo has returned with a podium under his arm. Good average. The Spaniard has added his seventh ‘drawer’ in fourteen participations in Portuguese lands after finishing second behind an incontestable Kalle Rovanpera that, not only has he won the test and the Power Stage, but he has also placed himself as the leader of the World Championship.

For both the Spaniard and the Finn, this result ends a long drought. Sordo had not been on the podium since the Acropolis Rally in September of last year and Rovanpera from New Zealand in October, just the test in which he was proclaimed champion. With this result Dani adds 55 ‘drawers’ in his career and Kalle his seventeenth victory.

The orders that were given in Hyundai were of little use. Sordo had to cede second position to his leader of ranks, Thierry Neuville, but the Belgian’s car failed from the beginning of the stage and that allowed Dani to finish in a well-deserved second place, since not only was he the only one to stand up to Rovanpera in the first stage, but instead defended himself like a wild boar from his teammates’ attacks in the second. “I dedicate it to Craig Breen and his parents”, the Cantabrian assured after passing the finish line. “I promised them that I would take him in the helmet, I thank him for He has been pushing me to go to the limit”.

Third place went to Esapekka Lappi, who finished ahead of an Ott Tanak whose hybrid system failed him in the final stage to culminate his series of misfortunes this weekend. Even so, the Estonian climbs to second position in the World Cup. The next appointment will be the Rally of Italy in Sardinia, from June 1 to 4a test in which Sordo has won twice and in which Sebastien Ogier also rejoins.

Dani Sordo: “Maybe this will be my last time in Portugal”

– List the reasons why this podium is very special.

– The first thing because I don’t know if it will be my last Rally de Portugal, and leaving here with a feeling that I’ve been good, I’ve been competitive, the fans, my family is always here, the friends… you want to do well for yourself, but also for others, that they feel proud of me. I have received many messages and perhaps that is the most beautiful thing of the day. It is very rewarding.

– And also for Craig Breen, right?

– Yes, I have brought a special helmet for this rally, half with the decoration that he wore and the other half with mine, so that he came with us in the car, and it has given us luck. I promised his mother that he was going to do it when going to the funeral I saw his helmet in his room. I promised him that I would send it to him, but I’m still making a reply, that I love him too. His father told me that Craig talked a lot about me. We were rivals, but we were also friends.

– In any case, apart from Rovanpera, he has proven to be the best.

– In the end Kalle is in another league. We play second and he first. One only has to see what he does and with what ease. I think that even he gets bored and any day he takes his belongings and goes to do something else that he likes more. But we have had a good rally, and above all the key has been to recover the pace on Saturday afternoon.

– Next appointment, Sardinia, a rally that has won twice.

– It won’t be easy, but we’ll be there. Sardinia is a nice rally, I like it and we will try to get a good result.

Classification

1. Rovanpera-Halttunen (Fin/Toyota), 3h 35m 11.7s

2. Sordo-Carrera (Esp/Hyundai), at 54.7

3. Lappi-Ferm (Fin/Hyundai), at 1:20.3

4. Tanak-Jarveoja (Est/Ford), at 2:04.1

5. Neuville-Wydaeghe (Bel/Hyundai), at 8:22.5

Drivers World Cup

1. Kalle Rovanpera, 98 points

2.Ott Tanak, 81

3.Sebastien Ogier, 69

4. Elfyn Evans, 69

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