Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio have taken victory at Rali Serras de Fafe in their first outing with the Hyundai i20 R5 on gravel. The duo set the fastest times on 13 out of the 14 stages contested. They also won the rally by 1m14s over Portuguese driver Ricardo Teodósio.
Rali Serras de Fafe was only the Spaniards’ second competitive event with the Hyundai i20 R5. Last year they scored a podium on tarmac at Barum Rally. They used last weekend’s rally as an opportunity to get into competition mode ahead of their first WRC event of the 2019 season in a few weeks’ time.
Sordo was fastest on Friday morning’s qualifying stage. He selected to start 12th on the road for the opening tests. The Spaniard dominated the first four stages, finishing the day in the lead by 18.1 seconds. Being first on the road on Saturday added an extra challenge. But Sordo was feeling more and more comfortable with the i20 R5. He also used his extensive experience and continued to amass stage wins. In the end, Dani took the overall victory after more than 124 competitive kilometres.
Sordo and Hyundai Motorsport worked closely with Hyundai Portugal backed drivers Armindo Araújo and Bruno Magalhães. They finished seventh and sixth respectively.
Dani Sordo said:
“Winning Rali Serras de Fafe in such style shows the strength and competitiveness of the Hyundai i20 R5 and gives us a timely confidence boost ahead of Rally México. I felt quite comfortable with the car, which I had only driven once before, on tarmac at Barum Rally last year. We took a lot of pleasure this weekend driving these beautiful stages. We had so much support from the Portuguese fans and from the ones who came from Spain to watch the rally – it was amazing to see. It was really important for us to get into the rhythm before Rally México. And Rali Serras de Fafe was a perfect opportunity to do just that.”
Hyundai Motorsport Team Director Andrea Adamo said:
“This result is very important for Dani and Carlos as it represents a competitive start ahead of Rally México, their first WRC event of the season. In only their second outing with the Hyundai i20 R5 – the first on gravel – they showed brilliant pace, won most of the stages and brought the car to victory. We worked closely with Hyundai Portugal and their drivers Armindo and Bruno in the debut rally of their national campaign. [This way we reaffirmed] the commitment we have towards our customers. I would like to thank them for such a warm welcome in their home country and for all the support they have given us.”
¡Victoria en el Rally Serras de Fafe! ? Estamos listos para el Rally de México ? || Victory in #RallySerrasdeFafe! We are ready for Mexico ?? #HMSGOfficial #HyundaiPortugal #RaliSerrasdeFafe ?? pic.twitter.com/4mmCfj7oaZ
— Dani Sordo (@DaniSordo) February 23, 2019