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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rnd5 Rally Argentina May 8-11 2014

Official Website:

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What’s new for 2014

The winner! Nobody on the entry list has won the rally before.
Sunday’s classic Giulio Césare – Mina Clavero will be run downhill from the top of the mountain into the Traslasierra valley for the first time since 2002.


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

Dani Sordo topped the times in the shakedown for Rally Argentina this morning, the fifth round in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship.

Sordo opted for four runs through the test, setting his best time on his final run, when he completed it in 2 minute 31.3 seconds. That left him 0.4 seconds up on M-Sport man, Mikko Hirvonen, who in turn was just 0.3 seconds ahead of the Volkswagen of Jari-Matti Latvala in third.

Speaking prior to the event, Sordo said: “I'm really grateful that the team gave me the chance to compete in Argentina after the good performance we had in Portugal (Juho Hanninen was originally scheduled to drive the second i20 WRC - Ed). I intend to make the most of this opportunity to help the team in the development of the Hyundai i20 WRC as we did in Portugal.”

“It is again an event where we feel almost like at home,” he continued. “It's a rally that I really like and where I had some good results in the past.”

“It is unique, there's always a very nice atmosphere and we get a lot of support from the local fans there,” he added.

Thierry Neuville meanwhile took fourth in the second Hyundai i20 WRC, 1 second off his team-mate, while defending WRC champion and pre-event favourite, Sebastien Ogier came in fifth in his Polo R WRC.

Andreas Mikkelsen rounded out the top six followed by Mads Ostberg, Elfyn Evans, Robert Kubica and Kris Meeke in positions 7 through to 10. Meeke was 3.6 seconds off the pace in his Citroen, but opted for just two runs, like Ostberg, Mikkelsen and Ogier.

The event now gets underway this afternoon with SS1, the 6.04 km Super Especial 1 set to commence at 16.00 hours local time [20.00 hours UK time]. Competitors then tackle the first 'proper' stages on Friday.

Rally Argentina - Shakedown results (Top 10):

1. Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC 2m 31.6s M
2. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 00.4s M
3. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +0m 00.7s M
4. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +0m 01.0s M
5. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +0m 01.2s M
6. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +0m 01.3s M
7. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +0m 01.8s M
8. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 02.4s M
9. Robert Kubica RK M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 02.6s M
10. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +0m 03.6s M



1,247 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
SS1: First blood to Ogier

Sébastien Ogier was fastest out of the blocks to win tonight’s opening stage of Rally Argentina.

The Frenchman beat Mads Østberg by 3.0sec in their head-to-head battle around the slippery 6.04km super special stage on the edge of Villa Carlos Paz. Ogier’s blistering pace can be measured by the fact that the next five cars were covered by 2.4sec.

“My drive was OK but the set-up was maybe a bit stiff. I’ve driven this stage better in the past,” said the Volkswagen Polo R pilot.

Østberg, whose time was good enough for second, admitted to a slight mistake on the second lap in his Citroen DS3, but the Norwegian was taken aback by Ogier’s pace.

Andreas Mikkelsen was third in another Polo R, beating Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, whose time placed him sixth. Sandwiched between were Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala, Hirvonen coming out on top in an all-Finnish duel by just a tenth of a second.

Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke were seventh and eighth, ahead of WRC 2 leader Jari Ketomaa and Nicolas Fuchs.

Tomorrow’s first full day starts at 07.00. Drivers journey north of Villa Carlos Paz to tackle two long stages in the Sierras Chicas and Punilla Valley, which are repeated in the afternoon after service in the town. The 51.88km test from Ascochinga across the mountains to Agua de Oro is one of the longest of the season.

Leading positions after SS1:

Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier VW 4m51.7s
2. Mads Ostberg Citroen +3.0s
3. Andreas Mikkelsen VW +3.5s
4. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport Ford +4.1s
5. Jari-Matti Latvala VW +4.2s
6. Thierry Neuville Hyundai +5.4s
7. Dani Sordo Hyundai +7.2s
8. Kris Meeke Citroen +9.3s
9. Jari Ketomaa Autotek Ford +9.5s
10. Nicolas Fuchs M-Sport Ford +10.1s



1,247 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)


A dramatic start to today’s first full day of Rally Argentina – both Mikko Hirvonen and Mads Østberg were sidelined in the opening 27.09km stage from Santa Catalina to La Pampa (SS2).

On what could be the roughest and toughest Rally Argentina ever, this opener was the stage the drivers feared more than any. It is littered with rocks and compressions where torrential downpours earlier in the year have washed away the road.

Hirvonen, who was fastest in yesterday’s shakedown, hit a wall 7km after the start and the damage to his Ford Fiesta RS was too great to continue.

Next to go was Østberg, who struck a rock 16km into the stage and ripped a wheel from his Citroen DS3.

Also in trouble was Dani Sordo, who dropped almost three minutes in his Hyundai i20. He struggled with a lack of power, which the Spaniard thought might be related to the air intake into the turbo.

Fastest was Sébastien Ogier, for whom this was his 150th stage win in a Volkswagen Polo R. The Frenchman was 2.8sec clear of team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, who reported an intercom problem.


Update # 2: Latvala moves ahead -SS3

Fastest time through the marathon 51.88km stage from Ascochinga across the Sierras Chicas mountains to Agua de Oro (SS3) promoted Jari-Matti Latvala into the lead.

The Volkswagen Polo R driver, second in the start order, was surprised at the good grip on roads that were damp in places. He was 10.3sec clear of team-mate Sébastien Ogier, who felt he lost time sweeping loose gravel in the dry sections. The gap between them is 3.3sec.

Andreas Mikkelsen drove the last 20km with a power steering problem on his Polo R. “I hit a stone with the front right,” explained the Norwegian, who was still third fastest.

Also unhappy was Thierry Neuville, whose Hyundai i20 ended the test trailing the cover which protects the rear differential and suspension. “It distracted me at the beginning because I didn’t know what it was,” said the Belgian, who struggled for grip.

Team-mate Dani Sordo worked furiously on his i20 before the start after being delayed in the previous test. He tried to fix a loose turbo pipe but could not clip it in place and drove the stage with no boost. He dropped over nine minutes to add to the three minutes in the previous test.



Sébastien Ogier regained the lead after setting fastest time through the second pass of Santa Catalina / La Pampa (SS4).

He was quickest by 3.8sec in his Volkswagen Polo R from team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, and now heads his colleague by five-tenths of a second in the standings.

Thierry Neuville emerged from the stage with a buckled left rear wheel on his Hyundai i20 but the Belgian wasn’t too concerned.

“There was a stone on the line and I slid past it. I didn’t hit it really, it was a very, very small impact and everything seems to be fine,” added Neuville, who replaced the wheel ahead of the Ascochinga test.

Nicolas Fuchs, lying second in WRC 2, lost a place when he dropped two minutes in his Ford Fiesta RRC after breaking a rear differential on the liaison section to the stage.



ari-Matti Latvala powered back into the lead after blitzing Volkswagen Polo R team-mate Sébastien Ogier by more than 18sec in the second pass through the Ascochinga to Agua de Oro stage (SS5).

Latvala took a 17.7sec advantage, but was perhaps a little fortunate. The Finn finished with two chunks of rubber missing from his front left tyre, but the Michelin rubber did its job and remained inflated.

Ogier was an agitated man at the finish. He jumped out of his car to check the back before saying: “The rear tyre was moving a lot. The grip wasn’t good and I lost a lot of time.”

It was a disastrous stage for Hyundai, who lost both i20 cars. Dani Sordo stopped 1km after the start with an engine problem and then Thierry Neuville, who was driving slowly with similar issues, was asked by his team to pull over rather than risk terminal damage.

Andreas Mikkelsen brought the number of World Rally Car retirements to five when he parked his Polo R after 43.90km with what is believed to be an alternator problem.


Latvala leads after day 2 in Argentina

Jari-Matti Latvala leads Volkswagen Polo R team-mate Sébastien Ogier after a see-saw battle during an action-packed first full day of Rally Argentina.

The lead changed hands three times in four stages before Latvala blitzed his rival in the final test to overnight with a 17.7sec advantage. Caution paid dividends for Kris Meeke who lies third in a Citroen DS3 on his first Argentine WRC outing.

Heavy downpours earlier in the year left the hilly stages littered with rocks and compressions where the rain had washed away the sandy surface. The rough roads took a fearsome toll and five top drivers retired during a day which became a battle for survival for many.

Ogier, who led after last night’s super special stage, stretched his advantage in this morning’s opener to 7.0sec, but Latvala retaliated to lead by 3.3sec at the mid-leg service.

Ogier was back ahead by half a second after the penultimate test, before a stunning time in the final stage propelled Latvala into top spot.

“We had a really good feeling in that stage,” said Latvala. “Miikka (co-driver Anttila) did a perfect job and I really enjoyed it. And when you feel like that, these things can happen.”

Meeke promised a cautious drive after crashing in Portugal last month. However, he was never outside the top five and lies 49.7sec behind Ogier.

Elfyn Evans is fourth on his Argentine debut, a further 2min 40.7sec behind. The Welshman took no risks in his Ford Fiesta RS and is 0.2sec ahead of the similar car of Robert Kubica. The Pole promised to sacrifice speed for survival after a crash-plagued season and duly delivered.

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)

SS6-More turbo woe for Sordo

Dani Sordo’s frustrating rally took another turn for the worse when the Spaniard retired his Hyundai i20 after the opening 39.99km stage from San Agustin to Villa del Dique (SS6).

Sordo stopped after 5.5km and his engineers radioed instructions asking him to switch engine settings. He completed a further 3km before stopping again, but restarted and limped to the finish dropping 17 minutes.

His car’s dashboard displayed a warning message: turbo. “It’s a little bit the same problem as yesterday,” reported Sordo, who worked on the car after the stop line before retiring for the second consecutive day.

Sixth-placed Martin Prokop was lucky to survive a big impact to the right rear wheel after his Fiesta RS slipped off a bridge in a water splash, while the man on the move was Robert Kubica, the Pole climbing ahead of Elfyn Evans to claim fourth in his Fiesta RS.

In WRC 2, second-placed Yuriy Protasov rolled his Fiesta RRC while both Nicolas Fuchs and Jari Ketomaa stopped to change punctures.



Andreas Mikkelsen shrugged off the disappointment of his final stage retirement yesterday to climb three places on the leaderboard through the Amboy - Yacanto stage (SS7) and move into fourth in his Volkswagen Polo R.

The Norwegian won the opening test from San Agustin to Villa del Dique and was third in Amboy to overhaul Ford Fiesta RS trio Martin Prokop, Elfyn Evans and Robert Kubica.

His next task is a more difficult one – he is 2min 50.9sec behind third-placed Kris Meeke, who scared himself after a lurid moment in a flat out corner.

“It was a six left bend over a crest and I went completely wide into a bank. It was my pace note error,” explained the Citroen DS3 driver.

Team-mate Mads Østberg punctured a right rear tyre 5km from the finish.



The statistics show that Jari-Matti Latvala won the second pass through the 39.99km stage from San Agustin to Villa del Dique (SS8) to extend his lead over Volkswagen team-mate Sébastien Ogier by 3.0sec. But…

Ogier spun at the muddy entrance to a watersplash near the midpoint, the same place that Mads Østberg had an overshoot and Thierry Neuville spun. The Frenchman lost a handful of seconds but worse was to come.

Just 1.5km from the finish the front left tyre on his Polo R began shedding its tread. The flailing rubber smashed much of the front left wing, but curiously the tyre remained inflated.

“It wasn’t a puncture. On the straight, the rubber went out but the pressure is still there. Perhaps something is wrong with the manufacture?” said the incredulous Ogier, who lost another couple of seconds.

Then Latvala arrived to tell of his dramas. “I spun, about 5km from the start, just after a hairpin. The car tucked into the corner and I spun. Then in the last 5-6km, coming into a bridge, I stalled the engine,” said the Finn, who nevertheless extended his lead to 24.2sec.



The gap between Jari-Matti Latvala and Sébastien Ogier widened to almost 30sec as the Frenchman’s problems in SS8 had further consequences through the following 39.16km stage from Amboy to Yacanto.

Flailing rubber from the front left tyre of Ogier’s Volkswagen Polo R damaged the wing in SS8, and the bumper and spoiler unit fell off in the next test. The lack of cooling triggered the engine into road safety mode when it started to overheat and he lost six seconds to his rival.

“It was a consequence of what happened in the previous stage,” said Ogier. “The bumper was loose and I lost it, and without it I had no power.”

A smell of oil was emanating from Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai i20, but the Belgian has moved ahead of Martin Prokop, Elfyn Evans and Robert Kubica this afternoon to climb to fifth.

Mads Østberg was in discomfort after further hurting the right hand he damaged during yesterday’s accident.

“In the ruts there must have been a rock and I had a bad kickback through the steering. My right hand is really painful and it wasn’t easy to drive after that,” he explained.



Jari-Matti Latvala dominated today’s third leg of Rally Argentina to widen his lead over Volkswagen team-mate Sébastien Ogier to 31.2sec.

The Finn won three of the five stages in his Polo R and outpaced Ogier through them all to take a comfortable advantage into tomorrow’s rocky final leg.

Latvala revelled in the faster, smoother stages in the Calamuchita Valley, south of Villa Carlos Paz. After stretching his 17.7sec overnight lead to 21.2sec this morning, he capitalised on afternoon problems for Ogier to move further ahead.

“This was one of my best drives. Sometimes you get one of those days when you are in the flow and it’s a great feeling, but you have to use it in the right way,” said Latvala, who also praised co-driver Miikka Anttila’s precise pace note reading in this afternoon’s fog.

Ogier spun in this afternoon’s opener before his front left tyre delaminated near the finish, damaging the wing. It also loosened the front bumper unit which fell off in the next test, and the lack of cooling overheated the engine and left him short of power.

Kris Meeke survived a sixth gear brush with a bank this morning to hold third in a Citroen DS3, 3min 15.8sec behind Ogier. He is being caught by Andreas Mikkelsen, who won the opening stage, and climbed from seventh to fourth after restarting under Rally 2 rules. He is 1min 56.0sec adrift of Meeke.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

SS11: Ogier concedes defeat

Sébastien Ogier conceded defeat to Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala following the opening 22.07km test from Giulio Cesare to Mina Clavero (SS11).

In slippery, foggy conditions and run downhill for the first time since 2002, Ogier was 16.4sec slower than Latvala and the Finn extended his lead to 47.6sec in his Polo R.

“I never push in this stage. It’s a lottery in here so I prefer to just drive through. We can’t win all the time but I’m happy because this proves it’s not easy to win. Jari-Matti deserves it,” said Ogier.

Visibility for the opening 8km was poor but fog expert Mikko Hirvonen delivered a stunning performance in his Ford Fiesta RS. He was 36.4sec quicker than Andreas Mikkelsen to climb back into the points, and Latvala was the only other driver within a minute of him.

It was a nightmare for Mads Østberg as the pain from his injured right thumb continued to prove troublesome.

“I drove with one hand and it’s impossible on a stage like this. It’s hurting badly, so badly I’m not able to use it. I hit something under braking for a corner and went into some stones on the outside,” he said.



Conditions in the 16.32km El Condor (SS12) were appalling. Fog meant visibility was limited to 70 metres but the biggest problem was the long sections of thick, slippery mud which meant simply staying on the road was the sole aim.

“Absolutely impossible,” said Mads Østberg. “Undriveable, I have no control,” was Robert Kubica’s view. “The most difficult stage I’ve ever driven,” ventured Kris Meeke.

The only man who seemed to enjoy himself was Mikko Hirvonen. “I like it,” grinned the Finn, who was again quickest by 9.8sec in his Ford Fiesta RS from leader Jari-Matti Latvala, who stretched his advantage to 67.5sec.

The pain in Østberg’s injured right thumb proved too much and the Norwegian retired his Citroen DS3 after the stage. He drove the morning tests with his left-hand only and the team decided that, in the awful conditions, it was too dangerous for him to continue.



Robert Kubica’s grip on sixth place came under fire from Elfyn Evans as the Welshman narrowed the gap to just 5.1sec through the second pass of the 22.07km downhill stage from Giulio Cesare to Mina Clavero.

The Pole jumped out of his Ford Fiesta RS at the finish to check his tyres. “We clipped a big stone and I thought we might have a puncture, but it looks like the tyres are solid,” he said.

Martin Prokop had a broken anti-roll bar at the rear of his Fiesta RS and the car was moving around a lot in the slippery conditions. “It handles like a boat!” said the Czech driver.

Sébastien Ogier ceded a further 30sec to Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala but the Frenchman was simply taking things steady in the fog and mud. “I drove it like a road section,” he explained.


SS14: Power Stage - Latvala wins in Argentina

Jari-Matti Latvala took his maiden Rally Argentina victory when he won the fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship by 1min 26.9sec from Volkswagen Polo R team-mate Sébastien Ogier.

It was Volkswagen’s ninth consecutive WRC victory, breaking the record previously held by Citroen. Kris Meeke finished third for the French squad in a DS3, a further 4min 27.8sec behind.

Ogier won the El Condor Power Stage to take maximum bonus points. Mikko Hirvonen claimed two points for second with Latvala taking one.


Next Rnd6 Rally Italia Sardinia June 5-8 2014

Official Website:

Listen Live:

What’s new for 2014

West coast town of Alghero replaces Olbia as the base and location for the service park.
The island’s capital, Cagliari, welcomes the rally for the first time. Thursday’s start and opening stage will be held there after which cars will be transported back to Alghero.
Oschiri hosts a remote service during the opening leg.
Two stages have been combined to form the massive 59.70km Monte Lerno. Could this be the longest stage of the 2014 season?

Don’t miss

The spectacular Micky’s Jump in the Monte Lerno test. The road literally falls away beneath the car and it’s one for the brave and fully committed…….

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