Hyundai's Dani Sordo has had to retire from Rally de Portugal this morning with mechanical issues sidelining him en-route to the opening stage.

Sordo had been running fourth overall and early on even led, winning the first two proper stages on Friday and in the process giving the Hyundai i20 WRC its first stage triumphs. He continued to set good times after that as well, and posted top six times in every stage bar one on Saturday. However a broken front left driveshaft brought his rally to a premature conclusion this morning.

Related Articles

Speaking in final service on Saturday, the Spaniard noted: "It has been a very positive day for us and very satisfying to end it in the top four overall. The Hyundai i20 WRC continues to perform very well in these difficult conditions and we have been able to make improvements and progress all the time.

"It has been a challenge to get the tyre choice right but we have settled into a good tempo and built up our confidence. We are 20 seconds from the podium but our aim is to complete tomorrow's three stages in the best way possible and to make sure we reach the finish of this rally."

After his exit this morning, he added: "Obviously, it is extremely disappointing to have had to retire from the rally, especially when we were in such a strong position. I was in the road section heading to the first stage when one of the driveshafts broke and we were forced to retire.

"We have had a good rally though with some stage wins on Friday and showing the pace of the Hyundai i20 WRC in these difficult conditions.

"I have had some incredible support and it is fantastic to see so many people getting behind me and the entire Hyundai Shell WRT," Sordo concluded.