Sordo keen to re-establish himself
|By David Evans||Monday, April 11th 2011, 13:17 GMT|
Mini driver Dani Sordo says he is determined to turn his career around with his new team - and stop being beaten by his team-mate.
Talking at the launch of the Mini John Cooper Works team in Oxford today, the Spaniard admitted his four years alongside Sebastien Loeb at Citroen had been hard work as the Frenchman continued his dominance of the sport.
Since winning the Junior World Rally Championship in 2005, Sordo has driven a Citroen World Rally Car, until he was dropped by the French firm at the end of last season.
Sordo wants to make his mark on the Mini team he will lead this season, starting from next month's Rally d'Italia Sardegna, the first event for the Mini WRC. He will be paired this year with former Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion Kris Meeke.
"I had four years in the official [Citroen] team," said Sordo, "and after four years of not beating my team-mate, I would like to start beating him now!
"Kris is a good guy. We have a good relationship from when we drove together in Citroen [in 2005]. But he is the one I have to beat."
Sordo admitted winning one of the six WRC rounds Mini will start this season was unlikely, with the Spaniard looking towards the podium more than victory.
"Honestly, if I make a podium this year, it will be very nice," he added. "If I win a rally this year with the Mini, it will be very nice, but I think this will be tough."
Sordo only tested Citroen's DS3 WRC briefly before he departed, but he says he has seen enough to know his new employer will have its work cut out this year.
"The Mini is coming better and better," said Sordo. "But I think we are a little bit far away from the moment. But this is normal – we have less kilometres than the others. We need to wait and see what happens in the first rally.
"But the Citroen looks good on the road and the Ford looks fast. People said these cars would be slower this year, but this is not happening, not even with the smaller engines.
"A little bit, the problem with me is that I don't have the big experience with these [1600cc] cars. If it was the evolution of the old World Rally Cars then this could be better, but everything is new for this year. We have to see."