Dani Sordo will start Vodafone Rally de Portugal next week on a high following victory in the Fafe Rally Sprint today (Saturday).
Sordo, in a factory Citroen DS3 WRC, took the win by one second from Ford Fiesta RS pilot Mads Ostberg in a thrilling showdown on the 6.34-kilometre gravel stage, organised as a precursor for round four of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Based near Porto in the north of the country, the Rally Sprint took place over the iconic Fafe-Lameirinha stage and attracted an estimated 100,000 spectators.
“The atmosphere was amazing and the sensation in the car really good,” said Sordo. “On the first pass, I was not completely confident with the set-up but by the final the car was perfect.
“The jump was crazy and we were so happy when we saw that we had finished in front of Mads. After a difficult Sweden and Mexico, that's good for us. Now let's try to do the same in Portugal!”
Martin Prokop was third in his Ford Fiesta, with Volkswagen’s new works team driver Andreas Mikkelsen fourth after spinning his Polo R WRC in the final heat. As he prepares to make his WRC debut next week, former F1 driver Robert Kubica was fifth in a Citroen DS3 RRC.
“It was a unique experience and my hairs are still standing on end,” said Mikkelsen. “The spectators were incredible – they almost drowned out the noise of the engines. And at the jump, the crowds shout you into the air, just like in ski jumping – simply amazing.”
With the Rally de Portugal taster complete, attention now switches to the main event which starts from Vilamoura on Thursday 11 April.