Dani Sordo has been confirmed as Jari-Matti Latvala’s replacement in the factory Ford team on Philips Rally Argentina, round five of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia.
The Spaniard, 28, will deputise for Latvala who is unable to compete in South America after he broke his left collarbone in a fall while cross-country skiing as part of his regular fitness programme.
Sordo’s switch to Ford from the rival Prodrive WRC Team has been made possible after his employer Prodrive agreed to a temporary release. However, Sordo will be back at Prodrive for Rally New Zealand in June, while Latvala is expected to be fit enough to retake his place at Ford on the Acropolis Rally at the end of May.
“We’re naturally disappointed that Jari-Matti will miss the rally, but ensuring a full recovery as quickly as possible is the most important thing for him and the team,” said Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson.
“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,” Wilson continued. “The agreement is for one rally only, and I would like to thank the management of Dani’s current team, who were extremely gracious in helping us in such challenging circumstances.”
Sordo, the 2005 Junior world champion, has never won a round of the WRC before. However, he has scored 32 podiums, including his second-place finish for MINI on Rallye Monte-Carlo back in January.
His fastest time through the Power Stage on Vodafone Rally de Portugal at the start of April means his tally of stage best stands at 115 heading to Argentina, where he finished second for Citroen in 2009. Carlos del Barrio will continue to co-drive. Sordo’s first test in a Fiesta RS WRC is planned at Greystoke Forest in the United Kingdom tomorrow, Thursday.
Philips Rally Argentina takes place from 27-29 April.