2DAY105

Sordo retains third

Ford World Rally Team drivers Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio maintained their podium position during yesterday`s second leg of Rally Argentina.

A consistent pace in their Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car kept the Spanish duo in third place with one day remaining in this fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
After the attrition of yesterday’s opening leg, today was a much quieter affair.  Drivers headed south from the rally base of Carlos Paz, 700km north-west of Buenos Aires, for two loops of gravel special stages in the Calamuchita Valley.  The day ended with a second pass over the short test in Carlos Paz which kick-started the rally on Thursday.  The seven stages covered 166.54km.

Dry but cool conditions this morning persuaded Sordo to opt for Michelin’s soft compound tyres.  He later switched to a mix of soft and hard compound rubber, before choosing hard tyres for the entire afternoon loop.Sordo, replacing the injured Jari-Matti Latvala in a one-off outing for the team, held a firm grip on third and took no risks this morning as he consolidated the podium place.  The afternoon followed the same pattern, as the 28-year-old retained his focus on securing a strong points finish.

He was second fastest in the opening stage of the afternoon and the final test to end the day 1min 19.2sec ahead of his closest rival.
-I made no mistakes but I wasn’t so happy with my times this morning,” admitted Sordo.
-I didn’t have full confidence in my pace notes, but they were better in the second pass.  I had a front left puncture in the middle stage this afternoon and I only had one spare wheel.  I couldn’t afford another puncture so I was more careful in the last stage. The roads were fun with jumps, fast corners and water splashes.  I could have driven flat out, but even then it would be unlikely that I would close the gap to the drivers ahead.  My goal is to keep this position.  It would be better to finish third rather than take risks and go off the road,” added Sordo