WRC »

McRae dominates leg one of Argentine rally.

Didier Auriol added: ''This rally is much more pleasant when the conditions are nice - I don't like driving in fog and this morning was pretty bad! But we're still in contention - Colin's going very quickly, but we can fight with the rest of the guys for second at least. The car's handling isn't perfect, though - we need to experiment with some differential settings.''

At Skoda Armin Schwar'z Octavia WRC bent a right-front upright on this morning's first pair of stages, but otherwise his and Bruno Thiry's machines have proven generally reliable on their first outing in Argentina.

Armin Schwarz has found the Argentina stages difficult to master on his first visit to the South American event. The German admits that his pacenotes here need refining and he lost time when he bent his Octavia's suspension this morning. Two punctures in SS7 didn't help his cause either. Bruno Thiry has had an eventful day - the Belgian clipped a rock on today's opening stage, then spun in SS4 and suffered a heavy landing in SS6. The latter incident punctured his left-front tyre but Michelin's ATS mousse system prevented any serious time loss.

Armin Schwarz said: ''It's been difficult, but all I can do is keep enjoying myself and driving. At the high altitude here the engine feels down on power, but I guess everyone feels the same. I'm finding it hard to keep my bearings, though, because a lot of the scenery looks the same and when we did the recce, it was foggy anyway.''

Bruno Thiry added: ''We've had a few moments. When we hit the rock this morning it knocked the tracking of the right-rear wheel out of line, and the heavy landing could have been quite serious. We basically landed off the road!''

Hyundai's two Accent WRC2s started reliably but both Alister McRae and Kenneth Eriksson hit problems this afternoon. McRae's car started cutting out in SS5 and SS6 with a suspected master switch problem, while Eriksson's gearbox warning light flashed intermittently this morning. But in the day's last stage both cars broke rear tailpipes and caught fire. McRae lost seven minutes after he and navigator David Senior stopped twice to put out the flames.
Sporting: Alister McRae started strongly, setting top six times this morning. The Scot lost time with his master switch problem but he still occupied a top ten placing until his fire on the day's last stage.

Kenneth Eriksson was unable to explain a loss of pace this morning but once an engine sensor was replaced the Swede charged, matching his team-mate's speed to move back towards the top ten. Then an accident (caused by fluctuating differential pressure) broke the rear tailpipe and Eriksson fought against smoke inside the cabin to bring the car back to service.

Alister McRae said: ''The fire was really frustrating. We didn't hit anything, the tailpipe just came loose and it's cost us any chance of a point. It's such a shame because the car had been setting reasonable times when it's working properly.''

Kenneth Eriksson added: ''It was hard to get the car to the end of the stage because the flames were a metre and a half high. Staffan (Parmander) and I were both leaning out of the car being sick for the last 500 metres because the smoke was so bad.''



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Colin McRae on-the-edge as ever.
Nasser Al-Attiyah - Mini ALL4 Racing
Petter Solberg celebrates at the 2007 Race of Champions
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Bjorn Waldegard [Pic credit: Race Retro / www.historicmotorsportshow.com]
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Jacques Villeneuve testing his Albatec Racing Peugeot [Pic credit: Gary Hawkins/Ebrey Photographic]
Jacques Villeneuve in his Albatec Racing Peugeot [Pic credit: Gary Hawkins/Ebrey Photographic]

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.