Richards: We can take Sordo to top of WRC podium

Prodrive chairman David Richards asserts that away from Citroën and Sébastien Loeb, Dani Sordo can thrive and unleash his full potential with MINI - and finally break his World Rally Championship duck
David Richards is adamant that in the right environment this year, Prodrive can extract the very best from Dani Sordo and develop him into a multiple World Rally Championship winner – although he advises that the Spaniard will be kept on his toes by MINI team-mate Kris Meeke.

Prodrive is the operation behind the return of MINI to the WRC in 2011, and the car will make its competitive debut at an undisclosed date later on in the campaign [see separate story – click here]. A WRC regular since 2006, Sordo has 29 podiums to his name – all with Citroën – but no victories, with the French manufacturer seemingly unable to get the best out of him and his confidence ostensibly suffering alongside record-breaking seven-time world champion Sébastien Loeb.

Richards, however, assures that the talent is there and that all Sordo needs is the right atmosphere in which to thrive and really fulfil his potential.

“That I believe is one of the strengths at Prodrive, of actually putting drivers into an environment that they can excel in and deliver the best performance,” the Welshman told Crash.net at the annual pre-season Autosport International show. “Dani has been in the world championship for a number of years now; he's got 29 podiums to his name, and yet hasn't been on the top step.

“He has partnered the best driver in the world, though, and I think if we take him out of that environment and we put him into a place where we can nurture him properly with the right car – and he's driven the car already and speaks glowingly of it – then I'm convinced that he can challenge for world championship wins very quickly.”

As to Meeke, meanwhile, Richards acknowledged that the Ulsterman – 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) Champion – has impeccable credentials for his big break on the world stage, and suggested that the 31-year-old can go far.

“I expect him to be the equal of Dani,” asserted the former WRC title-winning co-driver. “He might lack a little experience in the World Rally Championship, but he's got great experience himself, he's an engineer in his own right and he's been getting a lot of mileage in the car.”

by Russell Atkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle. Peugeot 207 S2000. Belgium Ypres Rally. June 2009 [Pic credit: Peugeot UK]
David Richards (GBR) Prodrive Subaru Team Principal World Rally of Japan, 1-3 September 2006, Japan.
David Richards (GBR), Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, 13-15th, April, 2007
11.06.2006 Silverstone, England, . David Richards, Owner of Prodrive - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Sunday
Dani Sordo (ESP) Diego Vallejo (ESP), Citroen C4 Citroën Total World Rally Team
Dani Sordo (ESP), Citroen C4 Citroën Total World Rally Team
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP), Citroen C4 Citroën Total World Rally Team
Dani Sordo (ESP), Citroen C4 Citroën Total World Rally Team
Marcus Gronholm and Mads Ostberg. Neste Oil Helsinki Battle 2014 [Pic credit: VW]
Markku Alen. Neste Oil Helsinki Battle 2014 [Pic credit: VW]
Markku Alen and Jari-Matti Latvala. Neste Oil Helsinki Battle 2014 [Pic credit: VW]
Fans. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Sander Parn. ERC 2WD winner. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Timmu Korge. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Alexey Lukyanuk. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Ott Tanak. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Timmu Korge
Ott Tanak

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

TheTruth - Unregistered

January 23, 2011 6:46 PM

@rjbetty Sordo sucks, citroen finally managed to look past keeping a spanish driver for market reasons. The minute he's on the limit a prang is never far away.

© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.