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Sordo retires after final stage.

Dani Sordo was withdrawn from the Pioneer Rally Japan prior to going over the finish ramp today [Sunday], after Citroen instructed him to stop so that they can fit a new engine to his C4 WRC car for the Rally GB.

Sordo, who had made a strong start to the penultimate round in the World Rally Championship and who was running fifth overall after the first four tests - just 13.1 seconds off his team-mate, Sebastien Loeb, was forced out in the afternoon loop on Friday with a turbo problem.

He re-joined under the SupeRally on Saturday and then hauled himself up from 63rd place to 18th, posting some very impressive times in the process, including three stage wins.

The Spaniard then made more progress on the final leg and was tenth following SS29. However as he wasn't in the points, the French manufacturer took the decision for him not to officially finish and this will enable them to use a fresh engine in December in Wales.

"Everything was going perfectly on Friday. We had settled into a good pace which was quick without us taking any risks. I was pleased with our position, but then our engine dropped power on SS6 and we were forced to stop. It was hugely disappointing," said Dani.

"Following that problem, we were obviously under much less pressure to obtain a top result and we began day two [under the SupeRally] in 63rd place. We were able to push as hard as we saw fit, although the conditions didn't facilitate our task.

"Running eleventh on the road, we came across a great deal of churned up mud and there was very little grip. We also tackled some of the afternoon's loop on Saturday after nightfall, although that didn't prevent us from going quickly and posting some decent times.

"There is still one more round to come now and we will do our best to score the points Citroen needs in Wales to take the Manufacturers' crown and for us to finish third in the Drivers' championship."


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