Dani Sordo joins MINI WRC Team to compete in the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 9, 2011

Upon MINI’s return to rallying with the MINI WRC in the upcoming season, Spanish driver Daniel “Dani” Sordo will team up with Kris Meeke to compete in the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship. Sordo said that being a part of the new team is a “fantastic opportunity” and that he is confident that MINI will have “a big future in the sport.”

He also shared that he looks forward to teaming up with Kris Meeke, whom he completed a very successful test with in Sardinia last November.

According to Dr Wolfgang Armbrecht, Senior Vice President Brand Management MINI, Sordo and Meeke fit well with the MINI brand, and can offer the MINI WRC program “not only experience and speed but also the right chemistry” required to build the team.

David Richards, Chairman of Prodrive, said that Sordo is one of the most experienced drivers in the WRC and has been competing at the very highest level for the last five years.

Richards predicted that in being with the new MINI WRC, Sordo will be able to add to his 29 podiums with victories on WRC events and become a challenger for a WRC title.

Dani Sordo is not just an experienced World Rally Champion contender but a successful one as well. He has been participating in championship as far back as 2003 and has been on the same team as Sébastien Loeb for a number of seasons.

Formerly a Junior WRC, he has held a record of 102 stage wins and 29 podium finishes. Sordo started his motocross career at 12 years old and has been successful in touring cars, karting, and even hill climbing. It was in 2003 when he first participated in a WRC event held at Rally Catalunya, the series’ Spanish round. He drove a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII and managed to get 18th place.

He did however win the 2003 Spanish Junior Rally Championship and retained that same title by 2004. Sordo continued to gain international experience by joining WRC events held at Spain, France, and Argentina. By 2005, Sordo won the title in the Junior World Rally Championship.

In 2006 he joined Kronos Total Citroën World Rally Team and paired with Loeb. During the 2006 racing season, Sordo managed to achieve 4 podium places, 49 points, and even got fifth overall during the Drivers’ Championship.

He has been part of the Citroën Total World Rally Team starting in 2007 and obtained 17 second place finishes in the WRC and took the third step on the podium around 12 times. While Sordo managed to get fourth place during the 2007 WRC Drivers’ Championship, he managed to get to third for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

In 2010, he came at fifth overall. With the MINI WRC Team planning to participate in at least six WRC events for 2011, Sordo and co-driver Diego Vallejo will be able to get the opportunity to work with Prodrive, a Banbury, UK-based company tasked with the preparation of the MINI WRC.

Press Release

MINI WRC Team Signs Dani Sordo for 2011

Spanish driver Daniel “Dani” Sordo will strengthen the new MINI WRC Team in the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship. He will team up with Kris Meeke (GB) when MINI makes its return to rallying with the MINI WRC this coming season.

“There has been a great deal of excitement surrounding MINI’s return to the WRC, so to be part of this new team is a fantastic opportunity for me,” says the 27-year-old Sordo. “I’m sure MINI has a big future in the sport. I’m looking forward to working with Kris Meeke, having completed a very successful test with him in Sardinia last November.”

Dr Wolfgang Armbrecht, Senior Vice President Brand Management MINI, says: “Both Dani and Kris fit well with the MINI brand, and can offer the MINI WRC programme not only experience and speed but also the right chemistry we need to build the team.”

“Dani may only be 27, but he is already one of the most experienced drivers in the WRC and has been competing at the very highest level for the last five years,” says David Richards, Chairman of Prodrive. “I believe with the new MINI WRC and in the right environment, he can now take the next step and add to his 29 podiums with victories on WRC events and become
a challenger for a WRC title.”

Dani Sordo is an experienced and successful WRC contender, having participated in the championship since 2003 and driving in the same team as Sébastien Loeb for several seasons. He is a former Junior World Rally Champion, and to date in the WRC has secured an impressive 29 podium finishes and 102 stage wins.

Sordo began his career in motocross when he was 12 years old, achieving success also in hillclimbing, karting and touring cars. He first drove in a WRC event at the Rally Catalunya, the Spanish round of the series, in 2003 in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, finishing 18th overall. He won the Spanish Junior Rally Championship that year, and retained the title in 2004, while gaining further international experience at WRC rounds in Argentina, France and Spain.

After clinching the Junior World Rally Championship title in 2005, Sordo then joined the Kronos Total Citroën World Rally Team in 2006 when he was first paired with Loeb. Sordo finished the 2006 season with four podium places, 49 points and fifth overall in the Drivers’ Championship. He has driven for the Citroën Total World Rally Team since 2007, and while in the WRC has achieved a total of 17 second place finishes, taking the third step of the podium 12 times.

In 2007, Sordo finished fourth in the WRC Drivers’ Championship, was placed third in the standings in 2008 and 2009 and finished the 2010 season fifth overall. In 2011, the MINI WRC Team will enter at least six WRC events which will give Sordo and his co-driver Diego Vallejo the chance to work closely with the Banbury, UK-based, Prodrive outfit responsible for preparing the MINI WRC.

Daniel Sordo fast facts.
Born: 2nd May 1983/Torrelavega, Cantabria (ES)
Nationality: Spanish
Residence: Puente San Miguel, Cantabria (ES)
Website: www.danielsordo.com
Marital Status: Single
Co-driver: Diego Vallejo (ES)

FIA WRC career highlights.
2003 Spanish Junior Rally Champion
2004 P-WRC outings (Group N Mitsubishi Lancer)
Spanish Junior Rally Champion
2005 J-WRC Champion (Citroën C2) and Spanish Champion
2006 World Rally Car debut (Kronos Citroën)
5th place WRC Drivers’ Championship, four podiums
2007 4th place WRC Drivers’ Championship (Citroën), seven podiums
2008 3rd place, WRC Drivers’ Championship (Citroën), six podiums
2009 3rd place WRC Drivers’ Championship (Citroën), seven podiums
2010 5th place WRC Drivers’ Championship (Citroën), five podiums

FIA WRC statistics.
First WRC rally: 2003, Rally Catalunya
WRC starts: 84
Podium places: 29
Stage wins: 102
Total points: 393

Topics: mini, wrc

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