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Sainz takes lead on day one of Rally Argentina.

Auriol said: ''The car has been hard to drive. It's quite strange because at the test it felt very good, there were no problems.''

Gardemeister added: ''Starting this morning with the 60-second penalty was not very nice, but the first stage was okay. On the second stage this morning we hit a stone which knocked the tracking out and made the car hard to handle in the fast sections.''

Of the other entries Toshi Arai leads the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship standings in his Subaru Impreza, the Japanese driver is comfortably ahead of the reigning Junior World Rally Championship champion Dani Sola, who is enjoying his best run yet in his Mitsubishi Lancer.

Ford Focus RS WRC driver Antony Warmbold is the leading non-factory driver in 13th place, with local driver Gabriel Raies's challenge falling away in his Toyota Corolla WRC.



Rally statistics:

Starters: 78 crews (31 Group A and 47 Group N) started this morning.

Retirements: Loix (B), McRae (GB) and 28 other drivers.

Today - Friday 9 May: Leg 1 restarted from Carlos Paz at 06h25 and covered 572.53km, including 169.10km on 11 stages. The first car arrived back in Carlos Paz at 20h43.

Tomorrow - Saturday 10 May: Leg 2 starts from Carlos Paz at 06h55 and covers 552.89km, including 153.90km on nine stages. The first car is expected to arrive back in Carlos Paz at 20h22.

Weather forecast: Overcast early in the morning, sunny in the afternoon.


Stage by stage summary - Leg 1:

SS1 Super Special Pro-Racing 1 (3.02kms):
1. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 2m 09.7
2. Solberg (N) Subaru 2m 11.0
3. McRae (GB) Citroen 2m 11.4

SS2 Super Special Pro-Racing 2 (3.02kms):
1. Burns (GB) Peugeot 2m 09.4
2. Sainz (E) Citroen 2m 10.3
3. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 2m 10.5

Leaders after SS2:
1. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 4m 20.2
2. Solberg (N) Subaru 4m 22.5
3. Sainz (E) Citroen 4m 23.0

SS3 El Reposo-Los Sauces 1 (10.03kms):
1. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 5m 44.9
2. Martin (EE) Ford 5m 48.0
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 5m 48.3

Leaders after SS3:
1. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 10m 05.1
2. Solberg (N) Subaru 10m 10.8
3. Sainz (E) Citroen 10m 12.6

SS4 Canada de Rio Pinto-Villa Albertina 1 (10.91kms):
1. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 7m 43.4
2. Burns (GB) Peugeot 7m 46.5
3. Makinen (FIN) Subaru 7m 46.6

Leaders after SS4:
1. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 17m 48.5
2. Solberg (N) Subaru 17m 57.9
3. Sainz (E) Citroen 18m 00.6

SS5 Villa Albertina-Ischilin 1 (15.17kms):
1. Makinen (FIN) Subaru 8m 54.5
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 8m 54.7
2. Martin (E) Ford 8m 57.7
4. Burns (GB) Peugeot 8m 58.8

Leaders after SS5:
1. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 26m 43.2
2. Makinen (FIN) Subaru 26m 57.9
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 26m 59.6

SS6 Museo Fader-Ongamira 1 (18.49kms):
1. Sainz (E) Citroen 10m 12.7
2. Martin (EE) Ford 10m 14.2
3. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 10m 14.9

Leaders after SS6:
1. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 36m 58.1
2. Sainz (E) Citroen 37m 13.0
3. Makinen (FIN) Subaru 37m 13.4

SS7 La Falda-Villa Giardino 1 (9.37kms):
1. Sainz (E) Citroen 6m 25.1
2. Loeb (F) Citroen 6m 27.6
3. Martin (EE) Ford 6m 29.3

Leaders after SS7:
1. Sainz (E) Citroen 43m 38.1
2. Makinen (FIN) Subaru 43m 43.1
3. Martin (EE) Ford 43m 46.1

SS8 La Cumbre-Agua de Oro 1 (21.70kms):
1. Rovanpera (FIN) Peugeot 18m 47.6
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 18m 50.0
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 18m 50.9

Leaders after SS8:
1. Sainz (FIN) Peugeot 1h 02m 35.6
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 1h 02m 36.4
3. Martin (EE) Ford 1h 02m 39.8

SS9 Ascochinga-La Cumbre 1 (28.83kms):
1. Sainz (E) Citroen 19m 07.4
2. Loeb (F) Citroen 19m 07.6
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 19m 10.0

Leaders after SS9:
1. Sainz (E) Citroen 1h 21m 43.0
2. Rovanpera (FIN) Peugeot 1h 22m 14.3
3. Loeb (F) Citroen 1h 22m 16.2

SS10 El Reposo-Los Sauces 2 (10.03kms):
1. Martin (EE) Ford 5m 38.4
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 5m 40.0
3. Rovanpera (FIN) Peugeot 5m 43.7

Leaders after SS10:
1. Sainz (E) Citroen 1h 27m 27.9
2. Rovanpera (FIN) Peugeot 1h 27m 58.0
3. Martin (EE) Ford 1h 27m 58.7

SS11 Canada de Rio Pinto-Villa Albertina 2 (10.91kms):
1. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 7m 38.2
2. Makinen (FIN) Subaru 7m 41.1
3. Martin (EE) Ford 7m 42.3

Leaders after SS11:
1. Sainz (E) Citroen 1h 35m 13.6
2. Martin (EE) Ford 1h 35m 41.0
3. Loeb (F) Citroen 1h 35m 45.0

SS12 Villa Albertina-Ischilin 2 (15.17kms):
1. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 8m 47.5
2. Makinen (FIN) Subaru 8m 51.5
3. Martin (EE) Ford 8m 53.0

Leaders after SS12:
1. Sainz (E) Citroen 1h 44m 09.6
2. Martin (EE) Ford 1h 44m 34.0
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 1h 44m 44.3

SS13 Museo Fader-Ongamira 2 (18.49kms):
1. Martin (EE) Ford 9m 49.6
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 9m 51.3
3. Sainz (E) Citroen 9m 51.6

Leaders after SS13 / Leg 1:
1. Sainz (E) Citroen 1h 54m 01.2
2. Martin (EE) Ford +22.4
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot +40.1
4. Rovanpera (FIN) Peugeot +41.8
5. Loeb (F) Citroen +50.2
6. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot +1m 24.3
7. Duval (B) Ford +2m 38.3
8. Solberg (N) Subaru +2m 43.3
9. Schwarz (D) Hyundai +3m 03.0
10. Auriol (F) Skoda +3m 06.8





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