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WRC Rally Japan

Hyundai announces line-up for Rally Japan WRC finale

Hyundai has announced that Dani Sordo will pilot the team’s third car for the World Rally Championship season finale in Japan next month.

Dani Sordo, Candido Carrera, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

The Spaniard will take over the i20N from Teemu Suninen, who is set to drive this month’s Central European Rally after competing last weekend’s Rally Chile, where he retired on the penultimate stage.   

Sordo had hinted after finishing third at Acropolis Rally in Greece last month that his next outing would be the WRC’s final round on asphalt in Japan from 16-19 November.

The 40-year-old contested last year’s visit to Japan which ended in his i20 N bursting into flames during the rally’s opening stage.

Sordo’s WRC future beyond Rally Japan remains unclear following Wednesday’s confirmation that Hyundai has signed Ott Tanak to join the already contracted Thierry Neuville for next season.

Hyundai is yet to communicate any further information on its plan for next year, but has stated that it is still considering the prospect of expanding to run four i20 N Rally1s.

Should Hyundai approve a move to add a Rally1 car to its fleet, then it is likely to be piloted by a young aspiring driver.

Dani Sordo, Hyundai World Rally Team

Dani Sordo, Hyundai World Rally Team

Photo by: Vincent Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport

Esapekka Lappi and Teemu Suninen are also currently on the team's books, with the latter announced as part of its newly launched driver development programme earlier this year.

As for Sordo’s future, that is still up in the air but he has been consulted about the team’s future plans, according to Hyundai team principal Cyril Abiteboul.

Abiteboul has suggested the team could even assist if Sordo decides to opt for a move outside of competing behind the wheel.

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“Frankly they [our current drivers] are well aware [of the team’s plans] because my style is fairly open with the team. Dani has even been part of the process and the discussions we have been planning over the course of the summer,” Abiteboul told Autosport.

“I think we need to discuss when the situation for next year is a bit clearer, [if we run] three cars or four cars.

“I think Dani is at point where he needs to think what is beyond driving for him. It is something that we may have a role to play in suggesting some options, but it is up to him to decide if it is the right moment, or if it is too early.”

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