17 January 2015
WRC: Sordo looking to go longer on Monte
Dani Sordo's Hyundai was an opening day victim of the 2014 Rallye Monte Carlo, but the Spaniard is confident he can go further this time....
World Rally Championship veteran Dani Sordo is hoping to combine his early Monte Carlo Rallye form from 2014 with better fortune as the 2015 season gets underway.
The Spaniard was well placed when gremlins struck his Hyundai i20 WRC on last year's event, and is confident that a season of experience with the car should stand him in good stead for the 2015 edition.
A preparatory test for the gruelling Alpine event in mid-December, which saw both Sordo and team-mate Thierry Neuville encounter a variety of climatic conditions in the Ardeche, was followed by an extra pre-event test earlier this week and, with the i20s getting a few final tweaks, the Spaniard is looking forward to putting practice into action after seeing his 2014 rally curtailed by an electrical problem on the opening day.
“I really like Rallye Monte-Carlo, as it's completely different to every other event because of the weather conditions and the stages are beautiful, really twisty through the mountains,” the Spaniard opined, “Of course it's also a big challenge for both the drivers and the cars.
“Our aim, of course, is to go as fast as possible and score as many points as we can. A podium is possible on this event because on Monte everything can be achieved due to the unpredictable weather. It's important to remember we were third last year when we had a small, but unfortunately terminal, technical problem.
Complex logistics, unpredictable weather and constant changes in grip are the main features of the Monte but, despite tyre choice being critical, Sordo has only one mantra.
“Even though it's a very difficult rally, you have to push but you also have to remain calm when the conditions are tricky,” he claimed.
The 83rd edition of the Rallye Monte-Carlo introduces some new features, including two night stages on Thursday (22 January) and new stages further north, and Hyundai is hoping its debut on last year's event stands it in good stead for 2015.
“Rallye Monte-Carlo is well-known for quickly changing conditions and for always having many surprises in store and, even if you have experience from previous events, there are a lot of parameters influencing the result that you cannot control,” team principal Michel Nandan conceded, “Although our Rallye Monte-Carlo debut last year didn't last very long, we were happy with the tyre choices we made and we are confident we will work in the right way again this time with our partners Michelin.
“We experienced a lot of bad luck in this event in 2014, but we're aiming for a different result this time around.”
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