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WRC Rally Argentina 2013: Loeb closes on victory

4 May 2013

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb remains firmly in control on Rally Argentina and now just two stages stand between the Frenchman and yet another WRC triumph.

Loeb began the final day with a 39.8 second cushion and as such he could take it relatively easy through the morning loop, although he was still fourth fastest in SS11 and second in SS12. As a result, with his closest rival, Sebastien Ogier also opting to take it cautiously, the nine-time World Rally Champion actually increased his lead and it now stands at 1 minute 6.9 seconds.

Evgeny Novikov meanwhile remains third, although the Qatar M-Sport WRT man is coming under increasing pressure from behind. Jari-Matti Latvala began the day 8.2 seconds adrift, but was quickest in both tests in his Volkswagen Polo R WRC to cut the margin to just 3.4 seconds.

Further back, Thierry Neuville is fifth, from Mikko Hirvonen, Mads Ostberg and Martin Prokop – the same look top-eight as it was last night. The only change in the top-ten saw Dani Sordo move to ninth, while Andreas Mikkelsen drops a place to tenth, having struggled with his pace-notes.

In WRC2, Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari is now over 11 minutes up on Nicolas Fuchs. Marcos Ligato completes the top-three.

Rally Argentina now concludes with repeat-runs through Mina Clavero-Giulio Cesare and El Condor-Copina. SS13 is set to start at 11.39 hours local time [15.39 hours UK time]. SS14 follows at 12.57 hours local time [16.57 hours UK time].


Rally Argentina: Overall standings after Stage 12 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 4hours 04mins 09.1secs M
2. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +1m 06.9secs M
3. Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2m 33.5s M
4. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +2m 36.9s M
5. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +4m 19.1s T
6. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +6m 37.6s M
7. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +10m 57.5s M*
8. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +13m 17.4s T
9. Dani Sordo Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +13m 21.3s M
10. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +13m 25.3s T*

Others

11. Gabriel Pozzo Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +16m 02.0s T
12. Daniel Oliveira Stohl Racing Ford Fiesta RS WRC +24m 20.3s*
13. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Ford Fiesta RRC +28m 48.3s WRC2
14. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +40m 31.3s WRC2
15. Gustavo Saba Skoda Fabia S2000 +40m 35.4s
16. Marcos Ligato Subaru Impreza WRX STi +50m 55.4s WRC2


WRC2 standings after Stage 12 (Top 3):

1. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Ford Fiesta RRC 4hr 32m 57.5s WRC2
2. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +11m 43.0s WRC2
3. Marcos Ligato Subaru Impreza WRX STi +22m 07.0s WRC2


Notable retirements:

SS4. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Broken steering arm M*
SS4. Daniel Oliveira Stohl Racing Ford Fiesta RS WRC Lost front wheel*
SS5. Michal Kosciuszko Lotos Team WRC MINI John Cooper Works WRC Stopped in stage T*

SS6. Michal Kosciuszko Lotos Team WRC MINI John Cooper Works WRC Suspension T
SS8/9. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC Suspension T*

*denotes re-started under Rally 2 regulations

all times unofficial


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