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Petter Solberg quickest in SS1 in Argentina

Petter Solberg grabs the early lead in Argentina with the quickest time in SS1.

Ford's Petter Solberg leads Rally Argentina, the fifth round in the 2012 World Rally Championship, following the opening stage.

The Norwegian completed the 6.04 kilometre test in 4 minutes 54.9 seconds, beating Sebastien Loeb in their head-to-head by over 10 seconds. Loeb ended up eighth quickest overall.

“I decided not to use soft tyres in qualifying for a reason,” Solberg explained. “I used them for this stage and as the roads were very slippery, they made a big difference. It was a tricky stage but I had a good run.

“It's important to think ahead to the rest of the weekend. It was a good start and hopefully I can continue like this.”

Dani Sordo meanwhile, who is standing in for the injured Jari-Matti Latvala, was second in the other works Ford, ahead of Mads Ostberg and M-Sport Ford duo Ott Tanak and Evgeny Novikov, who are joint fourth.

Thierry Neuville was the top Citroen in sixth, followed by the Volkswagen Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 of Sebastien Ogier, then Loeb, Armindo Araujo and Andreas Mikkelsen in positions 7 through to 10. Mikko Hirvonen had to settle for eleventh.

The action now continues on Friday, beginning at 05.45 hours [local time] when drivers depart Carlos Paz for two identical loops of long tests in the Punilla Valley, north of the town. The opening 37.51km La Pampa - La Pampa will start in darkness while fog is likely in the higher sections of the daunting 51.88km stage from Ascochinga to Agua de Oro. The day ends with a shorter stage closer to the town and drivers finally turn off their engines at 19.51 after 197.96km of competition.



Rally Argentina: Overall standings after Stage 1 (Top 10):

1. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC 4mins 54.9secs M
2. Dani Sordo Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 03.6secs M
3. Mads Ostberg Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 04.8secs M
4. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 05.2secs M
= Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 05.2secs M
6. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 05.6secs M
7. Sebastien Ogier VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +00mins 08.0secs
8. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 10.2secs M
9. Armindo Araujo WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +00mins 11.7secs
10. Andreas Mikkelsen VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +00mins 12.7secs

Others

11. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 13.3secs M
12. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 19.0secs
13. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC +00mins 23.3secs M
14. Marcos Ligato Subaru Impreza WRX +00mins 23.8secs P
15. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +00mins 27.4secs P
16. Benito Guerra Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +00mins 28.8secs P
17. Paulo Nobre WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +00mins 29.3secs
24. Eliseo Salazar MINI John Cooper Works WRC +00mins 40.7secs
40. Daniel Oliveira Brazil WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +10mins 00.0secs


PWRC standings after Stage 1 – Top 3:

1. Marcos Ligato Subaru Impreza WRX 5mins 18.7secs P
2. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +00mins 03.6secs P
3. Benito Guerra Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +00mins 05.0secs P


Notable retirements:

None.

all times unofficial



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Petter Solberg (NOR) Chris Patterson (GBR), Ford Fiesta WRC, Ford World Rally Team
Petter Solberg (NOR), Ford Fiesta WRC, Ford World Rally Team
Petter Solberg (NOR), Ford Fiesta WRC, Ford World Rally Team

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