Dani Sordo was left 'hugely' disappointed following day one of the Pioneer Rally Japan on Friday after a turbo problem forced him out in the afternoon loop.

Sordo had made a strong start to the penultimate round in the World Rally Championship and was running fifth overall after the first four tests in his Citroen C4 WRC car, just 13.1 seconds off his team-mate, Sebastien Loeb.

However it all went wrong for the Spaniard in SS6, the 11.10 kilometre-run through Yuparo 2, when a technical problem ended his challenge.

It is not yet known if he will be able to re-start on Saturday under the SupeRally, but if he does he will be over 10 minutes off a place in the top ten.

"Everything was going perfectly. We had settled into a good pace which was quick without us taking any risks. I was pleased with our position, but then our engine dropped power on SS6 and we were forced to stop," he explained.

"It's hugely disappointing but we will see with the team whether we will be able to profit from the SupeRally ruling to restart on Saturday morning."

Citroen boss Olivier Quesnel meanwhile was also frustrated, especially as this could allow Ford to cut into 'his' teams 23-point lead in the manufacturers' championship.

Indeed currently with Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala 1-2, Ford would score 18 points on Sunday, while with Loeb third, Citroen would only take 6 points. The margin would thus come down to 11 points going into December's season ending, Wales Rally GB.

"I've obviously got mixed feelings this evening. Everything has gone to plan so far for S?bastien and Daniel [Elena]," Quesnel remarked. "They set themselves a good objective and succeeded in ending the day in third place which suits us very well.

"I am really disappointed for Dani and Marc, though. Up until SS6, they were having the same sort of good day as their team-mates and running in fourth place, which was what we had asked of them. We will look at the car when it gets back to service to see whether they can rejoin the rally tomorrow."



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