Citroen boss Yves Matton has told Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen to hold position in Argentina, thereby bringing to an end the scrap for victory.
Loeb finished the morning loop just 2.1 seconds up on Hirvonen, but with Ford's Dani Sordo now a distant third, more than 1.5 minutes adrift, the French manufacturer wants to ensure it doesn't squander the opportunity to take a 1-2 finish.
“I spoke to both the crews and they agreed that it was the best solution. Sebastien Loeb almost went off on SS9 and we can't afford to throw away a possible one-two, which would be great result for both World Championships,” Matton told the official Citroen site.
“It's a bit hard on Mikko after what happened at Rally Portugal [when he was disqualified for a technical infringement and lost the win], but I hope he'll be able to stand on the top step of the podium again with us very soon.”
Speaking in the mid-day service, Loeb reiterated that he was lucky to get away with his 'big moment' in the 39.74 km Intiyaco-Golpe de Agua 1 stage.
“I pushed very hard this morning, but Mikko responded throughout the stages. We had a real fright on SS9: a rock that I hadn't seen in reconnaissance lifted the car off the ground as we headed into a corner,” Loeb recalled.
“There was a large rock on the outer part of the road which kept us from going off. It was a close run thing.”
Hirvonen added: “It was a great fight this morning. I enjoyed driving flat out on these magnificent stages.
“It should be like that all the time. I couldn't wait to do SS9 in the race and I wasn't disappointed...”