The Ford World Rally Team is confirming this morning that Dani Sordo will replace the injured Jari-Matti Latvala in the Fiesta WRC at the next round of the World Rally Championship in Argentina next week. Latvala was forced to withdraw after breaking his left collarbone in a cross-country ski-ing accident while training in northern Finland last week.
We have given permission for Dani to compete in the Ford in order to help M-Sport out of this difficult situation and to give fans the chance to see Dani in action once more. It will of course give Dani more valuable competitive driving time as he prepares for his IRC round in Corsica next month in the Drive-Pro MINI S2000 and then the Prodrive WRC Team’s next event in New Zealand in June.
Carlos del Barrio was originally due to co-drive Eliseo Salazar in Argentina in his debut in the MINI WRC; Marc Marti will now take his place (subject to FIA approval).
Dani Sordo said: “I am really excited about going to Argentina. When you are a rally driver all you want to do is to compete, so I am really happy that Prodrive has given me the chance to drive the Ford. I was second the last time I competed in Argentina, but as I will be learning a new car, it will be difficult to repeat this.”
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson said: “We’re fortunate to have a driver of Dani’s calibre to join us. His experience at Rally Argentina was a key factor in the decision, having started the rally five times and finishing second in 2009. The agreement is for one rally only, and I would like to thank the management of Dani’s current team [Prodrive], who were extremely gracious in helping us in such challenging circumstances.”
Dani and Carlos will join regular pairing Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson for the four-day Rally Argentina, which will be based in Carlos Paz on 26 – 29 April.
As we did not wish to profit from Ford’s misfortune, Prodrive is not taking any fee for Dani and Carlos, but we have proposed that M Sport makes significant donations to various nominated charities.