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.