Dani Sordo and the Citroen C4 WRC win in Bologna
After two days of intense competition, Dani Sordo is the winner of the 18th Memorial Bettega Rallysprint, held at the Bologna Motor Show. On his first participation in the Italian event, the Citroen Sport works driver triumphed at the wheel of his C4 WRC. Although he had to get to know all the specifics of the circuit, the 25-year-old Spaniard who finished third in this year's World Rally Championship* did not put a foot wrong, winning both of the main competitions.
Taking place over the course of the entire weekend, the 18th Memorial Bettega Rallysprint concluded the 33rd Bologna Motorshow on a high. Two main competitions were organised for all the drivers taking part. The first one was the Memorial Attilio Bettega Rallysprint, in memory of the much-missed Italian driver who was tragically killed during the 1985 Tour de Corse. This was divided into qualifying on Saturday with two groups of four competitors fighting it out against each other and the finals on Sunday. Beforehand, another competition took place on Saturday evening: the Memorial Night Sprint. In both contests, Dani Sordo claimed victory at the wheel of the championship-winning Citroen C4 WRC.
During the Memorial Bettega Rallysprint, the drivers went head-to-head against each other on a track that was half asphalt and half gravel, scoring points for each victory. Dani enjoyed a faultless run, beating the three rivals assigned to him and going through to the final on Sunday. On Saturday evening, he underlined his mastery of the tricky conditions by winning the Memorial Bettega Night Sprint: his first trophy of the weekend.
In front of 10,000 spectators who braved one cold and humid Sunday, the 2005 Junior World Rally Champion beat Petter Solberg in the semi-final of the Memorial Bettega Rallysprint and then won overall against Gigi Galli in a nail-biting final. Dani was then able to let off some steam and thrill the crowds by doing some spectacular skids in celebration. The Citroen Sport driver is now the latest name in a long line of stars to win the Memorial Bettega Rallysprint, such as Colin McRae (1991 and 1993), Didier Auriol (1992 and 1998) and Marcus Gronholm (2004).
"Claiming two trophies in one weekend is incredibly exciting, " said Dani, nicknamed `il dominatore' during the event. "Whenever you take part in any sort of competition, the aim is always to try and win. I had absolutely no idea of what to expect when I came here. All I knew was that there were going to be some really good people with strong chances of winning such as Petter Solberg or Gigi Galli who we competed against on the WRC this year and Marcus Gronholm. So I could take nothing for granted at all. The humidity made the track very slippery as well. There was not much grip on the dirty asphalt, and conditions were even more difficult on the gravel. Throughout both days though, the handling of my Citroen C4 was perfect. It was important to try not to slide the car too much, as that cost a lot of time. So I tried to drive as cleanly as possible and this tactic worked really well. I'm very pleased with these two victories, which we clinched in front of a massively enthusiastic crowd with a fantastic atmosphere."