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Argentina - 25-28 Apr 19

Posted: April 27, 2019 7:58 PM - 1337 Hits

Round 5 - 2019 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Argentina 2019) Also available at: rally-base results & ewrc-results.com
Radio: WRC All Live Audio Stream
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website: Rally Argentina

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times
Shakedown - Thu - 12:00
SS1 Thu - 23:08
SS2 Fri - 12:08
SS9 Sat - 11:47
SS16 Sun - 13:08

Hyundai Motorsport Preview: Round 5 – Argentina

Posted: April 24, 2019 5:54 AM

Hyundai Motorsport has its sights set on victory as the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) moves overseas to Argentina for the first of two consecutive events in South America.

Rally Argentina will see crews return to tough gravel stages with soft and sandy roads in the valleys contrasting with rockier, punishing stages high up in the mountains. The event is popular with crews and fans alike with around a million spectators lining the routes to cheer on their WRC heroes.

Hyundai Motorsport has enjoyed plenty of support and success in recent years, having taken back-to-back victories in Argentina in 2016 (Hayden Paddon) and 2017 (Thierry Neuville), as well as a double podium last season (Neuville second and Dani Sordo third).

The team heads to Argentina following a dramatic victory at Tour de Corse at the end of March, in which Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul sealed a last-gasp win. The result has sent Hyundai Motorsport to the top of the WRC manufacturers’ standings on 114 points, and gives Neuville a slender lead in the drivers’ table after four rounds.

Rally Argentina sees Andreas Mikkelsen return to the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC alongside co-driver Anders Jæger-Amland. Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio will complete the three-crew Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team line-up. With testing prohibited outside of Europe, all three crews tested in the north of Portugal in preparation for this event – as well as the following round in Chile.

Team Director Andrea Adamo said: “We are very excited to return to South America for a double-header in Argentina and Chile. It will be a nice contrast of established event versus brand new rally, which will offer us a range of challenges. Our crews are motivated and determined to keep us at the front of the action, but we know our rivals will be pushing hard so we have to be on top of our game.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Championship leader heads to Argentina following victory in Tour de Corse
Winner of Rally Argentina in 2017 and runner-up in 2018

Neuville said: “Rally Argentina is a fantastic event with some tough stages and a great atmosphere. As one of the roughest rallies of the season, it requires a careful approach. On the one hand, we need to look after the car but on the other there are some sections where you can really attack. It’s a balancing act; we have to find a good rhythm but also be ready to push more or less when necessary. We’d like to add more victories after the success in Corsica but we know it will be a demanding event, especially starting first on the road.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger-Amland (#89 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Norwegians aiming to show gravel pace after impressing in Mexico
Finished fifth in Argentina in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC last season

Mikkelsen said: “Argentina is without doubt one of my favourite gravel rallies. There are a huge number of spectators and passionate fans, which creates an incredible atmosphere. The stages are in really nice condition, a little bit sandy compared to other gravel events that increases the grip level. As a result, we can set the car sideways into the corners and then push to the maximum. There are also the classic Argentina stages El Condor and Mina Clavero, which offer the ultimate test of man and machine.”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Spaniards claimed their best result of the season in Corsica
Scored third place in Argentina twelve months ago

Sordo said: “I always look forward to Rally Argentina, a special event with some truly amazing supporters. Despite being one of the roughest events on the calendar, there are some very nice stages – including El Condor and Mina Clavero – that are a real privilege to drive. We showed our pace on gravel in Mexico, fighting at the front on the opening day. We want to repeat that level of performance in Argentina and do all we can to get a good result for ourselves and the team.”

About the rally
Rally Argentina consists of 18 special stages run over a distance of nearly 350km. A shakedown and opening super special in Villa Carlos Paz gets the rally underway on Thursday before moving onto the fast and sandy gravel of Calamuchita Valley on Friday. A repeat loop of three stages – Las Bajadas/Villa del Dique, Amboy/Yacanto, Santa Rosa/San Agustin – will be split by a short lunchtime super special.

Saturday’s action centres in the Punilla Valley with a similar structure. A trio of stages – Tanti-Mataderos, Mataderos-Cuchilla Nevada and Cuchilla Nevada-Characato – will be run twice with the 6.04km super special in the middle.

Sunday’s itinerary ventures up high into the Traslasierra Mountains for popular and iconic tests including Copina-El Condor and Mina Clavero-Giulio Cesare. A second run through El Condor will act as the rally-concluding Power Stage.

M-SPORT FORD ALL SET FOR ARGENTINA

Posted: April 24, 2019 5:52 AM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen are all set for the first of a South American double-header at next weekend’s Rally Argentina.

With proven pace on all surfaces, the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC secured consecutive podiums in Mexico and Corsica, and the squad will be looking for more of the same next week.

Completing a two-day development test in advance of the rally, preparations have been made and the stage is set for three thrilling weeks of rallying!

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“Having proven our potential pace and strength, we’re all looking forward to seeing what we can do at Rally Argentina. With two podiums on the bounce, we’re keen to make it three and that’s what we’ll be aiming for next week.

“Admittedly we weren’t particularly strong here last year, but we have been working hard to rectify that. Our designers and engineers never stop working and just last week we completed a two-day development test in Greystoke forest.

“We won’t see everything we tested on the cars just yet, but the session also provided an opportunity to test and confirm various gravel set-ups as well as getting Elfyn and Teemu back into the rhythm of loose-surface rallying.

“Argentina is a pretty special place for Elfyn and his performance in Corsica shows that he can take the fight to the three main championship contenders. Teemu has only driven a world rally car here once before, but that didn’t stop him showing his speed in Sweden and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some strong times from him next week.

“This will also be the first in a South American double-header which requires a lot of extra preparation from the team. We’re limited as to what we can use at the following round in Chile –same chassis, engine, transmission and some dampers for example – and we’re not returning to Europe so will complete a full re-prep of the cars in Argentina after the rally.

“Every eventuality has had to be considered and our guys have been working hard to ensure that’s the case. We’re pretty sure we’re got everything covered, but this will be a new experience for all of us and I’m sure there’ll be one or two challenges along the way!”

RALLY ARGENTINA
ATMOSPHERE AND ACTION

Rally Argentina delivers atmosphere and action in abundance. Based in the lakeside resort of Carlos Villa Paz, the route remains largely unchanged and the fast gravel stages play host to some of the FIA World Rally Championship’s most passionate fans and most epic battles.

Many of the stages are smoother than some would expect and a good chassis is needed to build confidence at high speed. But the teams must also be prepared for some pretty hefty impacts – not least on the final day when the famous Mina Clavero and El Condor make for rough going.

This year’s Rally Argentina is also the first in a South American double-header and the team will have a big challenge as they re-prep the cars away from the workshop. The majority of the work will be done in Argentina and every eventuality has to be considered – ensuring the team meet strict deadlines to get the cars across the Andes and onto their next event in Chile.

ELFYN EVANS SCOTT MARTIN
Rally Argentina is a special place for Elfyn Evans. It’s where he secured his first podium in 2015 and where he came so close to victory in 2017 – missing out by just 0.7 seconds in the joint-third closest finish in FIA World Rally Championship history.

He and co-driver Scott Martin have had a good start to the season and proven their ability to fight at the head of the field. Challenging for wins, the pairing have secured two podiums in the last two events, and will be looking for a third in Argentina.

Previous starts: 5
Best result: 2nd (2017)

Elfyn Evans said:
“I’ve always enjoyed Rally Argentina and I’m looking forward to heading back there again this year. The Argentine fans are amazing and make it a really special place for rallying – and for me. It’s where I got my first podium back in 2015, and where I came pretty close to victory in 2017.

“We’ve had a pretty good start to the season and we want to see that continue that next week. We’ve had the speed, we’ve made some good steps forward with the car and we’ve secured two back-to-back podiums.

“The goal will be to continue that with another podium in Argentina. The competition is exceptionally strong at the moment and it’s fair to say that we struggled here last year. But I’m confident in the work we’ve been doing and if everything goes to plan I see no reason why we can’t challenge for another top result.”

TEEMU SUNINEN MARKO SALMINEN
Teemu Suninen may have only competed in Argentina on one previous occasion, but that hasn’t stopped him showcasing some impressive pace in the past.

With this year’s route largely unchanged, the young Finn will be looking to put all he’s learnt into practice and should not be discounted for a strong result – he and co-driver Marko Salminen capable of springing a surprise or two through next week’s fast gravel stages.

Previous starts: 1
Best result: 9th (2018)

Teemu Suninen said:
"I’m really looking forward to next week and it will be interesting to see where we are. The start of the season has shown that the team have clearly taken another step forward with the car. There are still some question marks, but based on the previous events I feel that we can be competitive in Argentina.

“I competed here for the first time last year and really enjoyed it. It’s not a particularly rough rally, but it is fast and requires a lot of strength. On a long straight you can feel the holes in the road as they bounce the car in the air! You also need a lot of traction and the car needs to handle well in the ruts – which is one of the things we focused on at our test last week.

“Personally, I don’t feel the same pressure that I had before Corsica but I still need to finish this rally with a good result. The good thing is that we can rely on our old pace notes from last year as there aren’t many changes to the route."

A NEW PARTNER WELCOMING ACRONIS
We are proud to welcome Acronis to the team. As a global leader in cyber protection, Acronis will provide the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team with innovative cyber protection solutions – designed to improve data resiliency and create a more efficient and secure workflow.

While the partnership is Acronis’ first within the FIA World Rally Championship, the company is already the technology partner of choice for many teams in Formula One and Formula E.

Malcolm Wilson OBE, M-Sport Managing Director, said:
“It’s great to welcome Acronis to the team. Cyber protection is becoming increasingly vital and it’s important that our data is kept secure. Working alongside a company like Acronis means that our engineers can continue to push the boundaries of development – their work kept safe, secure and protected from modern cyber threats.”

Dan Havens, Acronis Growth Officer, said:
“Acronis technology meets the efficiency and reliability of teams competing in the FIA World Rally Championship. It covers all aspects of cyber protection, helping the team focus on the development of their car and achieving results without worrying about the safety of their data. We are proud to be associated with the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team and look forward to a long, successful partnership.”

GREENSMITH MAKES A RETURN IN ARGENTINA

Posted: April 24, 2019 5:51 AM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Gus Greensmith and Elliott Edmondson will make a return to competition at next week’s Rally Argentina – taking to the wheel of their EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 in the FIA World Rally Championship’s premier support series, WRC 2 Pro.

Having mastered the asphalt of Rallye Monte-Carlo and tackled the snow and ice of Rally Sweden, the pairing are gearing up for their first gravel event of the season.

Making his debut at Rally Argentina last year, Greensmith secured second place in the WRC 2 category and will have his sights on a similarly impressive performance next week.

The young Brit will face stiff competition from experienced competitors and seasoned locals alike, but his speed and determination mean that he should never be discounted.

Gus Greensmith said:
“It’s been a while since I’ve been in competition, but I’ve been kept busy – on testing duty with the new Ford Fiesta R5. I now have a full calendar for the rest of the year and I can’t wait to get started with my first gravel event in Argentina.

“I competed here last year and really enjoyed the stages. We achieved a solid second place, but looking back at the onboards it was clear that we had the potential to be much faster. That’s the plan, and I feel we can be competitive next week.

“We’ll have some very tough competition and the route can also be quite rough. We’ll need to make sure we correctly identify the areas where we can push hard and those where we need to be a little more cautious. We need to be fast, and consistent, and go for the win – something I’m confident we can do if everything works in our favour.”

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing eyes South American gravel glory

Posted: April 24, 2019 5:49 AM

A run of consecutive gravel-based events for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team begins with a double-header in South America. First comes an established classic event, Rally Argentina (April 25-28), where the Toyota Yaris WRC claimed victory in 2018. A brand new challenge will follow in the form of Rally Chile (May 9-12). The team approaches both events with confidence along with its driver line-up of Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke, who have all tasted victory in Argentina in recent years.

Part of the FIA World Rally Championship calendar almost every year since the event began in 1980, Rally Argentina takes place over a variety of gravel stages, from sandy roads in the valleys to rocky tracks in the mountains. Watersplashes are a common feature at the many river crossings, while fog is a familiar sight over higher terrain.

The 2019 event remains faithful to a trusted format out of the lakeside Villa Carlos Paz resort, where the action begins with a Thursday night super special. Most of Friday's stages take place to the south in the Santa Rosa de Calamuchita Valley, while Saturday's stages run to the north-west in the Punilla Valley. Sunday has three stages in the Traslasierra mountains including two passes of the famous El Cóndor – the latter as the rally-ending Power Stage.

Chile's first-ever WRC round will be based in the port city of Concepción and feature medium-fast stages on smooth and compact gravel roads through forests, as well as some more open sections with views of the Pacific Ocean. Crews will have to make a full set of pace notes from scratch during the pre-event recce, and decide on a car setup without testing in Chile, which is prohibited by the regulations.

Rally Chile will begin with two loops of three stages south of Concepcion on the opening day, which will end with a stage on the city streets. A compact second day features three stages each run twice closer to the city. Sunday is made up of four stages in total, starting and finishing with a stage that begins by the Bio Bio river and ends at the Pacific coast.

With a gap of less than two weeks between the two South American events, the preparation for the teams is more complex, and must consider both rallies. They are defined as ‘linked rallies' by the regulations, meaning that for cars classified in the final stage in Argentina, the same chassis, engine and transmissions (including spare transmissions) must also be used in Chile.

Quotes:

Tommi Mäkinen (Tem Principal)
“We didn't get the results that we hoped for in our last rally in Corsica, but the confidence in the team is high going into the next two events in South America. Argentina is of course a rally that everybody knows well, including our drivers. Ott was very strong there when he won for us last year, and I think he is feeling good about his chances again. I know it's a rally that both Jari-Matti and Kris enjoy too. Chile is a bit of question mark for all the teams, but we understand that the road conditions should be very smooth, and I believe it should suit our car. We have been testing in Portugal to prepare for the upcoming rallies on gravel, working on the suspension to give us more grip and traction. Having these next two events back-to-back like this certainly provides the team with some more challenges. Doing the rebuild of the cars down there between events will be a new thing for us, but hopefully there won't be too much work for the guys to do!”

Martin Järveoja and Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“I'm feeling good about Rally Argentina. It's the event where we managed to take our first win for Toyota last year, and we are expecting nothing less this year. I believe that we should be able to perform well again there. The fast roads and the kind of surface that we have in Argentina should really suit our car quite well. It's a really tough event, as the stages can turn very rough in places, so there are points where you need to take some extra care. As for Chile, I don't really know what to expect, as I haven't been there before. There are a few things that we've been able to find out in advance, but we'll only really discover how the stages are when we get there and see them for ourselves in the recce.”

Miikka Anttila and Jari-Matti Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“Rally Argentina is one of the greatest events we have in the WRC. There is a lot of passion and a lot of spectators: some of them camping in the mountains, waiting to see the rally cars come by. The rally itself has some very nice, beautiful stages. The main challenge is that they can get quite rough for the second pass. On the other hand, I have been looking at how the roads are in Chile, and that won't be a rough event: there are no rocks and the sides of the road are very clean. Some places actually remind me of how the forest stages in Britain are when they're dry. My motivation is now very high, and I'm looking forward to getting started on these two events and being in the fight.”

Seb Marshall and Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke (Driver car 5)
“Argentina has always been a rally that I've enjoyed and I have some good memories from there, particularly my first ever WRC win in 2015. I'll be hoping to try and have a clean rally. Mexico and Corsica could have been a lot better for me, so I'm definitely looking to have a top result. I had three days of testing on gravel in Portugal last week and I think we're in good shape for Rally Argentina. We've got five gravel events in a row coming up and they're all rallies I go well on, aside from Chile which is new for everyone. As drivers we won't know exactly what we're facing until we get to Chile and do the recce, but events in South America are always really well-supported with a great atmosphere, and I'm sure this one will be no different.”

THE C3 WRC RETURNS TO LATIN AMERICA

Posted: April 24, 2019 5:48 AM

The WRC heads to Argentina for round five, only the second on gravel after Mexico, where the Citroën Total World Rally Team crews Sébastien Ogier – Julien Ingrassia and Esapekka Lappi – Janne Ferm will once again enjoy the huge, passionate crowds typically found in Latin America. Both crews will be determined to show the same speed they had a month and a half ago on the roads around León and maintain their run of podium finishes.

Winners in Mexico on the only gravel event held so far in 2019, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia find themselves back on the surface on which the majority of the championship is contested with the firm intention of confirming their pace with the C3 WRC on dirt roads. With seven stage wins, including the Power Stage, in Central America last month, they had produced a very high performance level. It is therefore no surprise that they come into this round with high hopes, although this gravel event differs somewhat from Rally Mexico. The French pair has finished on the podium four times in nine appearances at this rally, which rewards those who know the roads well. They will also be able to count on the experience of the Citroën Total World Rally Team, which has already won in Argentina ten times. Whereas in the past they have often been first to tackle these stages, where grip levels tend to increase as more cars complete, this time they will be running second on the road, meaning they will enjoy slightly better grip conditions.

Meanwhile, Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm will be sixth in the running order. Although they don't have as much knowledge as their team-mates of this rally, this being only their second appearance here, the fact they will be tackling cleaner roads may help them to make up partly for their lack of experience. In any case, the feeling at the end of the Mexican round and the stage times set in Central America suggest that the Finnish duo will be looking to confirm their growing confidence on this, their second gravel event in the C3 WRC.

In the meantime, Esapekka and Janne got some additional miles under their belt on this surface, as did Sébastien and Julien, as part of a four-day pre-event test held recently in Portugal, each crew spending two days in the car.

REACTIONS FROM…

Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal
“We return to gravel hoping to show the same speed as in Mexico and continue our run of podium finishes this year. Having said that, we know just how hard the Argentinian roads can be on the cars, so we’ll be tackling this round with application and treating it with the respect it deserves. Obviously, Sébastien and Julien will be really up for it. They will be even more motivated than usual since this is the only event to appear regularly on the WRC calendar that they haven't won yet, especially as – for once – they will have the beginnings of a line to follow by being second on the road. With a similar level of knowledge of the roads, Esapekka and Janne produced a promising performance in Mexico. I therefore have high hopes they’ll be able to pick up in Argentina where they left off, especially as they have got some more miles under their belts in the C3 WRC on this surface since then.”

Sébastien Ogier, Citroën Total WRT driver
“Although I have never won in Argentina, it’s a rally that I like and I have often been quick here in the past. So I come into this round with the same high hopes as usual. I would even go as far as to say I feel slightly more motivated by the prospect of winning this rally for the first time and with Citroën. It’s also true that being second in the running order gives me a bit more of a chance than in previous years.The type of roads used varies a lot, but I would say that what really stands out is how rough the gravel can be in places. You really do have to think about looking after your car sometimes, whilst continuing to drive quickly.”

Number of appearances at the event: 9
Best result: 2nd (2013, 2014 and 2016)

Esapekka Lappi, Citroën Total WRT driver
“With only one previous appearance at this rally, which doesn't change much from one year to the next, in principle, I start with a bit of a disadvantage compared to many of my rivals. Having said that, I’ll have a good place in the running order and I’m very determined to build on my promising outing on gravel in the C3 WRC in Mexico and bring home the best possible result from Argentina. I remember that the stages here are fairly nice, but you have to watch out for the countless embedded rocks, because they pose a real risk in terms of punctures.”

Number of appearances at the event: 1
Best result: 8th (2018)

KEY FIGURES

18 timed stages covering a total of 347.50 km
43.8 kph– the difference between the maximum (116.4kph) and minimum (72.6kph) average speed recorded on the ‘proper’ stages of last year’s event.
10 overall wins secured by Citroën at Rally Argentina: 3 with Xsara WRC (2004, 2005 and 2006), 3 with C4 WRC (2007, 2008 and 2009), et 4 with DS3 WRC (2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015).

Entry List

Posted: April 10, 2019 10:32 AM

Hyundai Motorsport announces line-up for South American double-header

Posted: March 27, 2019 12:33 PM

Hyundai Motorsport will approach the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) double-header in South America with a combination of crews as it seeks a competitive advantage on two contrasting gravel events, Rally Argentina and Rally Chile.

Belgians Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul, winners in Argentina back in 2017, will be joined by Norwegian crew Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger-Amland in both events, offering consistency from one of WRC’s established rallies to its most recent addition.

Spaniards Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio will line up in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in Argentina, before handing over to Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena for Chile.

Rally Argentina, which has been won twice by Hyundai Motorsport crews in the past three seasons, offers the opportunity to recapture performances shown in Mexico earlier this month. Rally Chile, meanwhile, will be a brand new event, and therefore a level playing field, for all participants.

Team Director Andrea Adamo said:
“We are looking forward with great anticipation to our South American double-header in Argentina and Chile. When looking at our line-up for these events we wanted to deliver a mix of consistency and also offer the opportunity to all our crews. Thierry and Andreas will participate in both events, and will be ready to compete at the highest level. For Dani, Argentina is an important rally, and we hope he will be able to show the same high rhythm and performance that he demonstrated in Mexico. Sébastien’s experience is like no other in WRC so to be able to make use of that in our first visit to Chile will be very important for us as a team.”

Rally Argentina takes place from April 25-28, with WRC’s inaugural Rally Chile following shortly after from May 9-12.

Rally Guide / Website / Details

Posted: January 2, 2019 3:45 AM






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