Sebastien Loeb emerged as the quickest driver in shakedown for the fifth round of the World Rally Championship season in Argentina.

The Citroen driver, chasing his fifth win of the season as well as a fifth straight Argentine victory, posted a quickest time of 4min 57.8secs from his three runs through the stage near the service park, which put him just ahead of the Ford of Mikko Hirvonen.

"The stage was very sandy and slippery," the Frenchman told the official WRC website, "but I think we've found a good set-up.

"It's difficult when it's like this because the gravel is so duty and fine, it's almost like driving on a beach. However, I don't think it will stay dry for the event and I think we'll get some rain, which will help the grip and make the stages faster and more exciting to drive. Damp stages would be my preference."

Hirvonen was the only other driver to dip below the five minute mark for the shakedown test, while Dani Sordo in the second Citroen was third quickest.

Petter Solberg in his Citroen Xsara was fourth, with brother Henning and Jari-Matti Latvala completing the top six.

The event will get underway this evening, with the opening rund through the Super Special stage located in Cordoba Stadium.

Rally Argentina - Shakedown times (top ten):

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC 04min 57.8secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC 04min 58.4secs M
3. Daniel Sordo Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC 05min 00.1secs M
4. Petter Solberg PS WRT Citroen Xsara WRC 05min 02.2secs A8
5. Henning Solberg Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC 05min 02.4secs MT
6. Jari-Matti Latvala BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC 05min 05.0secs M
7. Matthew Wilson Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC 05min 08.6secs MT
8. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC 05min 08.7secs A8
9. Federico Villagra Munchi's Ford Focus WRC 05min 10.1secs MT
10. Conrad Rautenbach Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC 05min 10.3secs MT

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