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Argentina - 8-11 May 14

Posted: August 2, 2015 3:41 PM - 3123 Hits

Round 5 - 2014 World Rally Championship

PIRELLI SCORPION TYRES PUT BERTELLI ON BRINK OF WRC 2 TITLE LEAD IN ARGENTINA

Posted: August 2, 2015 3:41 PM

Lorenzo Bertelli took full advantage of the grip and durability of his Pirelli Scorpion tyres to edge closer to the lead of the WRC 2 title standings with a strong showing on Rally Argentina (May 8-11), which again lived up to its reputation as being one of the toughest rounds of the World Rally Championship season.

Driving a Ford Fiesta RRC on the soft compound version of Pirelli's Scorpion tyre, the promising Italian claimed three stage wins on his way to fourth in the category. He leaves South America second in the WRC 2 standings, four points behind leader Yuriy Protasov.

Recent heavy rain, coupled with more showers during the course of the event, made for difficult conditions on the all-gravel stages, which ranged from damp in places to mud-coated in others.

Pirelli equipped Bertelli and co-driver Mitia Dotta with its soft compound Scorpion XR7 tyre for the damp conditions and senior company engineer Matteo Braga was more than satisfied with how the tyres performed on the 14-stage event, which totalled 405.10 competitive kilometres.

"We were very pleased with the performance of Lorenzo Bertelli," said Braga. "He did very well by winning stages and by always being competitive against his main rivals in the championship. Our soft compound tyre has been working well. Thanks to the tread pattern being solid the compound has been able to last longer when the stages dried and to offer a better level of grip in humid and wet conditions because of its softer nature. Obviously when it's muddy, like it was on the final day, it's very difficult for everybody and the drivers just try to take the car to the end."

Bertelli's impressive performance in Argentina followed on from Paolo Andreucci's eighth victory on Rally Targa Florio, a round of the Italian championship, which concluded in Sicily on Saturday. Driving an R5-specification Peugeot 208T16, Andreucci was fastest on 10 of 16 asphalt stages on Pirelli's new RX7B tyre to claim a popular win.

Meanwhile, Max Rendina was denied a third consecutive WRC 2 Production triumph after he failed to complete Saturday's leg in Argentina when he damaged his Mitsubishi Lancer's suspension striking a rock on stage nine. However, he fought back on Sunday to finish fifth in class to maintain his title advantage.

The World Rally Championship resumes on Rally Italia Sardegna from June 5-8.

Double DMACK Podium At Arduous Argentina

Posted: August 2, 2015 3:38 PM

DMACK mastered some of the toughest conditions seen on this year's FIA World Rally Championship to score a double podium in WRC 2 at Rally Argentina today. Peruvian Nicolas Fuchs was runner-up with Diego Dominguez from Paraguay third as DMACK?s gravel tyre coped with a mix of extreme mud and tough, rock-strewn roads.

Backing up the result, DMACK drivers locked out the WRC 2 Production Cup podium with home-driver Juan Carlos Alonso setting a stunning drive to seal victory and DMACK-equipped drivers accounting for 10 of the 23 finishers.

The majority of the WRC 2 field used DMACK?s DMG+2 tyre for the arduous Argentine action on round five of the world series. However, the extreme conditions took their toll on the two-car Drive DMACK World Rally Team with both Ott Tanak and Jari Ketomaa side-lined with problems.

They had the perfect start on Thursday's super-special stage in the host town of Villa Carlos Paz outside Cordoba, with DMACK drivers sealing the first four places on the six kilometre blast. But when the action started for real on Friday's loop of stages around Ascochinga, Tanak crashed heavily on a tricky jump and Ketomaa dropped down the time-sheets when a fault saw him struggle to start his car.

The Autotek team repaired Tanak's Ford Fiesta R5 allowing him to re-start and eventually finish eighth with Ketomaa in 11th. But it was the local drivers who upheld DMACK honours. Fuchs mastered the demanding conditions to climb from sixth to second after a sterling drive through the final stages and DMACK drivers dominated the WRC 2 series with a string of fastest times through the 405km of rough stages over four days.

Rally Argentina is renowned for its unique challenges but this weekend's harsh conditions placed an even greater emphasis on endurance and durability. The gravel roads featured a number of severe dips and compressions punishing both cars and tyres. They were matched by huge rocks which littered the stages and really tested the durability and puncture resistance of DMACK's gravel tyres.

However, the final day's action over the famous Mina Clavero and high-altitude El Condor stages was noted for the thick mud and fog which blanketed the boulder-lined route comprising the closing 77 kilometres of action.

Argentina is also famed for its exuberant atmosphere with hoards of enthusiastic fans flooding the stages and helping to make it a favourite with competitors and teams.

Running alongside the WRC event, DMACK also saw success in the FIA Codasur South American Rally Championship round with cars filling the top four overall places.

Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: "The rally was much tougher than everyone expected with the road conditions really punishing tyres. However, DMACK had an extremely successful event with our products standing up well to the test and delivering the performance needed for success across a number of levels. This has been a strong rally and proved how well DMACK is suited to the stages in South America."

Ott Tanak said: "We knew it was going to be an endurance event and it was not so easy. I?m disappointed with the overall result but it was good to get back out today and set some good times in the hard conditions. Next time we need some more luck and hope things go our way as we have to think about the championship and picking up more points."

Jari Ketomaa said: "We proved we had a fast package for the rally with the car and tyres but things just didn?t go our way with the various problems. This result isn?t what we were expecting but we know the performance is there and next rally we can be confident about that."

KUBICA TAKES SIXTH IN ARGENTINA

Posted: August 2, 2015 3:36 PM

RK M-Sport World Rally Team?s Robert Kubica overcame all that Rally Argentina had to offer to bring his Ford Fiesta RS WRC home in a highly respectable sixth place.

After two extremely challenging days of rallying, today?s final leg was to be no different. Leaving the mountain tracks and open roads far behind them, the crews embarked on some of the championship?s most unique and iconic terrain ? the moonlike vistas of the Valle de Traslasierra.

The conditions posed a real challenge with thick fog and mud accounting for poor visibility and a considerable loss of grip. The nature of the stages demanded precision cornering and near-perfect concentration. Despite his limitations, Robert rose to the challenge brilliantly with a highly composed and consistent drive that saw him post the fifth fastest time through the event?s final stage (SS14).

Having developed his pacenotes alongside fellow Pole and co-driver Maciek Szczepaniak, the Formula One race winner found the perfect compromise ? displaying caution in the narrower sections whilst resisting the temptation to show his true pace through the faster speed tests.

As with any true racer, the Pole is always looking to improve and having completed one of the year?s most demanding events without incident, Robert is now well placed to further his development as the season continues.

Robert Kubica (6th) said:

"It?s been a very long and demanding rally with some very difficult conditions. Coming here for the first time with no experience of the stages was really challenging, and we knew after the recce alone that it would be a difficult event. The stages themselves are very technical, and then when you add the conditions that we witnessed today, it was certainly not an easy event.

"There is no magic in this sport and experience is fundamental. It is better to finish in sixth than not finishing at all, but to finish in fourth or second is even better! Of course we need to be realistic for the moment and I think that myself and Maciek [Szczepaniak, co-driver] have driven a very positive rally this weekend."

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

"I am very pleased for Robert [Kubica] to have finished such a technically demanding rally without incident. He?s kept out of trouble to gain the experience that is so vital at this level, and the knowledge that he has gained can only further his development. He?s taken a step forward and is well placed to continue his progression."

KRIS MEEKE, PAUL NAGLE AND CITROEN GRAB PODIUM SPOT IN ARGENTINA

Posted: August 2, 2015 3:31 PM

Having hurt his hand with a kick-back through the steering on SS9 yesterday afternoon, Mads Ostberg began today's leg trying to drive through the pain barrier. However, with his injury preventing him from racing properly, the Norwegian decided with the agreement of the team to retire after SS12.

With a firm grip on third position since Friday, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle pursued their clearly-defined strategy of avoiding making any mistakes to secure their second podium finish of the season in the Citroen DS3 WRC.

Following this, the fifth round of the WRC, Mads Ostberg shares third place (on 48 points) in the World Rally Championship Drivers' standings. Kris Meeke's podium finish moves him up to sixth position, with 32 points. The Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team consolidates its second position in the Manufacturers' standings.

The next round will be held on 6-8 June in Sardinia.

QUOTE, UNQUOTE

Kris Meeke: "I was determined to get a good result at this Rally Argentina. I focussed on driving as precisely as possible so as to not take any risks. I used every second I had to make sure of getting across the finish line. It was difficult but this is a fantastic result. I would like to dedicate it to everyone in the team. They put a lot of faith in me, so I owed them one!"

Mads Ostberg: "Yesterday, on the penultimate stage of the day, I got a bad kick back through the steering on my right hand. We tried to carry on today with the injury. I was having to drive with only my left hand and it was too dangerous and too painful. It wasn?t sensible to keep going. We talked it through with the team and we decided to stop after the first loop."

Marek Nawarecki (Citroen Racing Deputy Team Principal): "It was an especially difficult rally. Kris had never raced in Argentina as part of the World Championship. He got to grips with the stages, confirmed his pace notes and found the right pace. Once he grabbed third spot, he managed his position remarkably well to finish on the podium. As regards Mads, initial tests suggest that the injury isn?t too serious. He will spend some time resting and recovering before preparing for Rally Italia Sardegna. Our aim is now for both crews achieve the same level of consistency in finishing among the leaders, starting at the next round."

Results

Posted: August 2, 2015 3:29 PM

Argentina 2014 1. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 4:41:24.8
2. Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:26.9
3. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (Citroen DS3 WRC) +5:54.7
4. Andreas Mikkelsen / Mikko Markkula (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +6:18.3
5. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +8:25.8
6. Robert Kubica / Maciej Szczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +10:08.0
7. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +10:32.2
8. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +12:03.9
9. Mikko Hirvonen / Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +19:54.8
10. Nasser Al-Attiyah / Giovanni Bernacchini (Ford Fiesta RRC) +23:10.2

Entry List

Posted: April 25, 2014 12:26 PM

Rally Guide / Website / Details

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