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Loeb hits 70 in Argentina

Citroen Junior WRT's Thierry Neuville rounded out the top-five. He had been on course for fourth, until he rolled in SS5 on Friday. The Frenchman rejoined under Rally 2 though and fought his way back up from tenth.

Petter Solberg was another Rally 2 runner. The Norwegian led early on and had a 20 second cushion going into SS4. However he was forced out in that test when an impact with a rock damaged a steering arm. He dropped to eleventh, but recovered to sixth, overhauling Sebastian Ogier in the penultimate test. 'Hollywood' also won the Power Stage, 1.1 seconds up on Hirvonen. In total he set eleven quickest times, including taking a clean sweep on the final day, but ultimately it was still an opportunity missed.

Ogier trailed Solberg by 23.1 seconds at the finish. He enjoyed a good battle with fellow Volkswagen Motorsport man, Andreas Mikkelsen throughout the three-days and both ran well in their Skoda Fabia S2000s. Mikkelsen unfortunately though, had to retire today in SS15 with suspension damage.

Further back, Evgeny Novikov was another Rally 2 runner, after going out in SS3 on day one when he lost a wheel. The Russian finished more than 8.5 minutes off P7.

Nasser Al-Attiyah and Ott Tanak rounded out the points' scorers, the former losing a wheel at the end of SS9, but rejoining today to claim two points. Tanak also had a turbulent event, but found himself promoted to the top ten when Mikkelsen and Sordo ran into problems on the final day.

Of the rest, Benito Guerra took the PWRC honours and eleventh place overall, 4 minutes 19.1 seconds up on Nicolas Fuchs, his nearest class rival in 13th. Former F1 racer Eliseo Salazar was sandwiched between them in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC car, a good effort from the 60-year-old.

In terms of retirements, in addition to Sordo and Mikkelsen, Rally Argentina also claimed the scalps of a number of other runners, including both WRC MINI Team Portugal runners, Paulo Nobre and Armindo Araujo, who went out in SS17. Araujo had been set to finish in the top-ten. Daniel Oliveira also failed to finish, sidelined by engine problems after SS12.

The WRC now heads to Greece next for the Acropolis Rally, which runs from May 25-27.


To view the result for the 2012 Rally Argentina - CLICK HERE


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Rorhlwind - Unregistered

April 30, 2012 1:42 PM

Mark, I agree that these days rallye is a bit boring since Loeb is so dominant. But this is history in the making before our eyes which will not be repeated by another in our life time. I believe, in the past, that there were several drivers fighting for the championship because many more drivers excelled on gravel and tarmac. Rallying, in the recent past, has been churning out specialists more or less. Though I think the Finns may be able to overcome this.



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