Citroen's Dani Sordo has set his sights on winning more WRC events now that he has finally broken his duck with victory on Rallye Deutschland.
It was Sordo's 107 WRC start in Germany and while he had claimed over 30 rostrums, until Sunday, he had never stood on the top step.
He had to work for it however, and Qatar World Rally Team pilot, Thierry Neuville took the fight right to the wire, although Sordo did eventually triumph, winning by 53 seconds after his rival made a mistake near the end of the final test.
“It's fantastic to claim my first win after such a close fight,” said Sordo, following the ninth round in the 2013 World Rally Championship. “We had no choice but to keep applying the pressure and in the end, Thierry was forced into a mistake.
“We didn't get off to a particularly good start [on Thursday], but we all worked together to improve. We did the hardest part on Saturday, but we had to maintain our form on Sunday and that's exactly what we did. Now that I have my first win, I want some more!”
Sordo started the final day just 0.8 seconds up on Neuville, but despite only having a slender lead he insisted he wasn't too nervous: “No, I was quite okay [at the start of the last leg]. In the first stage [on Sunday, SS15], we were a little bit faster than Thierry [and gained 2.2 seconds]. Then we had to wait for one hour doing nothing before the next stage. That was a little bit long, to be honest. In the last stage [SS16], it was interesting, but it was nice,” he continued.
“[All-in-all] it is an emotional victory,” he added. “A lot of people were there [at the finish], close friends and family. Many people were very happy for my win. I knew that the team and [my team-mate] Mikko [Hirvonen] were supporting me as well. You feel that people are supporting you - that is always nice.”
So what his feeling when he crossed the finish line? “It was a very good feeling. In the middle of the [last] stage, Thierry was pushing like hell, so it was really close. [But] after we crossed the line, we saw the message in the car that Thierry was driving slowly. Then it was already looking good, but we weren't sure. We had to wait for the confirmation and it was a relief when it finally came,” Sordo continued.
After struggling on Rally Finland and being dropped for Rally Australia, many thought the result was essential for the Spaniard, but he was adamant he didn't feel any additional pressure at the start.
“No, it wasn't a lot of pressure. On tarmac, we were confident we could do well. I was more scared about the set-up, because we didn't do a lot of testing here, but we made some good changes and after that, the car was really good,” he explained.
Asked if this will be enough to secure him a drive for 2014, Sordo replied: “I don't know, but I am really happy with the victory. If it helps me for next year, then it is good, but if not, so be it. Having this victory is just very nice,” he concluded.