Dani Sordo has said that his runners-up spot finish on Rally Ireland, the opening round in the 2009 World Rally Championship, is a 'terrific confidence booster' for the rest of the season.

Sordo eventually finished the Sligo-based event in his Citroen C4 WRC car around 1.5 minutes off his team-mate and rally winner, Sebastien Loeb, while Ford's Mikko Hirvonen was 40 seconds further back in third.

The Spaniard grabbed P2 on the second loop on Friday, setting second quickest times in seven consecutive stages from SS4 to SS12 - SS7 and SS8 were cancelled by the organisers on safety grounds - to build up a good margin over Hirvonen, albeit aided by the fact the Finn suffered power steering issues in SS10 and SS11.

Speaking at the finish, Dani added that with the weather conditions as bad as they were, just getting to the end was an achievement in itself.

"I'm very happy because coming second means that Citroen leaves Ireland with maximum Manufacturers' points, and it was great to have a perfectly trouble-free run, too. Not bad for the start of the season. The conditions were very difficult, and going the full distance without making any mistakes was a challenge in itself!" he confirmed.

"It was definitely a little bit tougher than 2007, on the first and second day particularly. Also for the tyres, but after that with the winter tyres it was going very well. This result is a terrific confidence booster for the rest of the season.

"I will try to finish in second position in the championship [this year] because it is very difficult to get in front of this guy [Loeb] but second position is not bad. It will be difficult with Mikko and others but I will try to get points for me and the Manufacturers' Championship."

Sordo's co-driver, Marc Marti meanwhile had nothing but praise for the event itself and the way it was run.

"I found the rally very good, the conditions were difficult for the organisers, but they did a great job," he continued.

"But for the co-drivers it was a lot of work because there are a lot of corners and you need to put all the points of view from your safety crew. This meant you had to read the notes faster than normal but we are happy to do the job because for us it was more for safety."



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