Citroen's Dani Sordo has confirmed the reason he retired from Rally de Portugal this morning was because he wasn't listening carefully enough to his pace notes.
The Spaniard had enjoyed a great day on Friday, winning two stages and ending the leg just 4.4 seconds off rally leader, Sebastian Ogier.
However it all went pear-shaped in the first test on Saturday, when he went wide in SS6, the first-run through the 31.12 km Santana de Serra stage, and hit a small tree, breaking his right rear-wheel.
Speaking back in service at the Algarve Stadium, Sordo was clearly disappointed, although he still found much to be positive about, especially how he felt with his Citroen DS3 WRC car. He will now re-start on Sunday under the Rally 2 regulations.
“I had done a lot work looking at videos from recce and I had the feeling that I knew the corner well where the incident happened. My mistake was not listening carefully enough to the pace note,” Sordo explained. “I carried a little bit too much speed into the corner and we hit the tree with the right-hand rear wheel, which broke right off. It was a small mistake. The good thing though, is we didn't make an error pushing too much."
“I can still take a lot of positive things from this rally," he continued. "We had good speed from the beginning and the feeling in the car was fantastic - it was incredible.
"We had lots of grip and managed to keep the car in line all the time. It was braking well and the traction was perfect too. That is good [news] for the coming rallies.
“I am of course disappointed for the team, because everybody was motivated and excited. I'd prefer to have finished like this and not to finish fourth or fifth, like I did in Mexico.
“[Overall] I feel bad [about the error], but on the other hand I feel good about the car and that is really important for the future. Everything was going perfectly up to that point in SS6. [As I said] I felt fantastic in the car, in fact I don't think I have ever felt so good on gravel. I hope I can reproduce that feeling in the next few rallies,” concluded the Spaniard.