Dani Sordo wins Rallye Germany

Dani Sordo claimed his first World Rally Championship win in Germany after fighting with Thierry Neuville on the final day of the rally just 0.8 seconds apart as they both sought their first WRC triumph. Sordo and Neuville moved to the front after both Volkswagens had accidents while leading.

The battle was the closest that M-Sport has come to a rally win since losing its Ford factory support at the end of last year, and marked the first time that anyone other than Sebastien Loeb had won in a Citroen this season.

Sordo had achieved 34 WRC podiums so far in his career without winning, and knew that his future depended on his Germany performance, with Citroen dropping him for the next event in Australia to give Kris Meeke another shot.

Championship leader Sebastien Ogier crashed out on Friday morning leaving his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala holding a shrinking advantage over Neuville only to damage his car on Panzerplatte. He escaped that incident still leading and struggled with his co-driver's door flapping open before going off on Saturday afternoon. Neuville had an incident of his own on the same stage, damaging his exhaust and allowing Sordo who'd been getting ever closer to him anyway - to claim the rally lead going into the final day.

The attrition rate was very high. Even before Ogier and Latvala's incidents, VW was one car down and these circumstances meant an astonishing WRC2 lead battle between Robert Kubica and Elfyn Evans into the overall top five. Kubica had the early edge, before they swapped the class lead four times on an incident-packed Saturday.

A blistering run through Sunday's opening stage finally settled it in Kubica's favour, as he moved into the WRC2 championship lead. Ogier was unable to get back anywhere near the top 10, but still took three points as he topped the powerstage and maintains his healthy lead in the 2013 championship.

Unfortuneatly, Sordo's first WRC win was completely overshadowed by an appalling accidnet on Saturday's final stage when two Dutch competitors taking part in a historic rally, supporting the main WRC were killed on the famous Arena Panzerplatte stage. The IRDC extends its deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those who lost their lives.

25th August, 2013