Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally team:

[Gigi Galli, car #7 and Henning Solberg, car #8 and Matthew Wilson, car #16]

Henning nominated again.

Henning Solberg will be back running under the Stobart Ford banner in Argentina, following his 'guest' outing in Mexico with the Munchi's squad.

Henning opened his account for the season in Leon when he finished in fifth and now wants to try and add to his tally.

Based on his showing earlier this month that should be more than possible and he is also hoping his road position on day one will give him a bit of an advantage, as he will run seventh in the order and should benefit from a cleaner and quicker line, providing it doesn't rain.

To date the Norwegian has competed in Argentina just twice, but on both occasions he has got points - finishing fifth last year and seventh in 2006, when a clutch failure cost him two positions in the final stage. Argentina was also the scene of his first ever stage victory as a driver in '06 - and so the omens are good.

"I have only done this event twice before but both times I have finished in the points so it is an event I will try to do very well on. We had a good result in Mexico even though we had some problems so hopefully we can continue our form into Rally Argentina which is a similar surface," he noted.

"We changed a few things around with the car in Mexico and it feels good on gravel so my plan will be to go flat out and see what we can do.

"This can be a tough rally especially if it rains like last year because the surface can be very slippery. I am starting with a good road position on Friday and if it stays dry this will help a lot. I will try my best here and see if I can get some more drivers' points."

M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson meanwhile is happy to have Henning back running for manufacturers' points for the Stobart squad.

He believes all three Stobart drivers - namely Henning, Gigi Galli and Matthew Wilson can do well: "All three drivers in the Stobart team have strong links with this event and all have a fantastic opportunity to even better their previous best," he confirmed.

"The event is running warmer this year and will be more demanding on crews especially with high altitude stages like Mexico. Henning returns to score manufacturer points in Argentina which will strengthen the team and Gigi has shown in the past what he can do here and his pace in Mexico was very promising before his retirement. Matthew [my son] has shown a good improvement this year and hopefully he will continue on with his form from Mexico and have another points finish here."

Munchi's Ford WRT:

[Federico Villagra, car #9 and Luis-Perez Companc, car #10]

Companc returns to fold.

Luis-Perez Companc will re-join the Munchi's line-up in Argentina, an event which will be especially significant as it is his and the team's home event in the World Rally Championship.

Companc, who co-owns the team, has not been in a rally car since the Wales Rally GB last December and as such, he undertook a one and a half day test in the Greystoke forest near M-Sport's base in Cumbria recently.

It was the first time he had sampled the latest evolution Focus RS WRC07, but dry conditions helped him gauge its potential. He is now determined to do well in front of the home crowd.

"This will be my first event back in a car since GB last year so it will take a little bit to get used to competition again. We recently had a test at M-Sport which will help a lot as the conditions were dry and we managed to get quite a few kilometres done," he noted.

"I am very anxious though because I know how important it is to represent Argentina and show ourselves driving a car of the highest level of the WRC in our home event. Last year we had such a warm reception from the fans cheering us on and it really did make a big difference for us."

Federico Villagra meanwhile will drive the #9 car - as he will do on all of the events in 2008 that the Munchi's team has opted to take in - and after scoring two points in Mexico, he will want to try and again break into the top eight.

That should be a serious possibility too, as not only is this is home event, but it is also based in his place of residence, Villa Carlos Paz, making it an even greater occasion.

Furthermore he has recent experience of the stages and won the opening round of the Argentine Rally Championship, which just happens to use the stages located in and around Cordoba.

"Scoring drivers' points in Mexico is a huge boost for me coming into Rally Argentina which is based in my home town. It is always good to have a winning car that is why we are confident of having a good rally in Argentina," added 'Coyote', who won the Argentine Rally Championship in 2006 and 2007 and who took the PWRC win on the Rally Argentina last year.

Suzuki WRT:

[Toni Gardemeister, car #11 and Per-Gunnar Andersson, car #12]

Suzuki: Engine issues sorted.

Suzuki boss Nobuhiro Tajima has confirmed that the squad have made some changes to the SX4 WRC's engine ahead of the Rally Argentina in a bid to improve reliability.

The Japanese manufacturer has done well since stepping up to the 'senior' level, scoring points on the first two rounds, with Per-Gunnar Anderson taking an eighth place finish on the Rallye Monte Carlo and Toni Gardemeister finishing seventh in Sweden.

However the last event earlier this month in Mexico was bitterly disappointing and both drivers were forced out early on due to engine problems.

Since then though Suzuki has 'investigated' the issue and is now determined to bounce back.

The SX4 WRC has also been 'carefully adapted' for the fourth round in the World Rally Championship and with numerous water splashes on the route the front bodywork has been tweaked to disperse the water more quickly and effectively, something that will be essential in order to protect the car and stop the engine being 'drowned'.

The concern for Tajima though is not so much to score, but to ensure both cars get to the finish, something the squad has yet to manage.

"Argentina is renowned as a very tough event, where the soft ground can often hide some big stones," he noted. "Since Mexico we have improved the reliability of the engine, so we are aiming to get to the finish in Argentina in order to learn more about the car and what is needed to achieve success at the highest level.

"The priority for both drivers is to get to the end: if we can score some points as well it would be a very welcome bonus."

Production WRC:

Round 2.

23 of the 28 competitors in the 2008 FIA Production Car World Rally Championship have opted to choose Argentina as one of their six nominated events.

After winning in Sweden, round 1 of the PWRC, Juho Hanninen leads the series, with Jari Ketomaa and Patrik Sandell second and third.

Hanninen won,t be in action however, in Argentina and that means he is unlikely to hold onto the series lead.

Of those taking in the South American event, Ketomaa and Sandell will both be in action again, as will Martin Prokop, Uwe Nittel, Toshi Arai and Bernardo Sousa - all having already got points on the board.

Other runners likely to be in contention include Nasser Al-Attiyah, Fumio Nutahara, ex-Moto-X star Travis Pastrana and Red Bull Rally Team man Andreas Aigner, who missed out on a solid points' finish in Sweden when he went off the road on day two while running in fifth position.

Red Bull Rally Team boss Raimund Baumschlager has now told the Austrian that he needs to step up to the plate this weekend.

"It is time that Aigner converted his terrific split and stage times into a decent finish," he confirmed. "He just has to drive a tactically better rally. If he can just do that a top result will be the logical outcome."

Other significant entries:

62 crews set to start.

62 crews are due to start round four - 14 of which will be in World Rally Cars, with all the manufacturer teams' represented.

In addition to the usual 'works' entries, Conrad Rautenbach will be the only other driver in a WRC car, once again using a PH Sport-run Citroen C4 WRC.

Conrad recently conducted a test with the C4 in the south of France and he is now looking forward to his second competitive outing with the machine.

"After a day testing my Citroen C4 WRC, I can't wait to get back behind the wheel for shakedown in Argentina," he stated. "Every kilometre I do in the car - and I did another 100 in France - I feel more at home with it.

"It was a real shame that we had the problem in Mexico, we were on for a good result there - and that's just what I want in Argentina: I want to be in the points."

Of the rest, in addition to the 23 PWRC runners, another 17 will compete in Group N cars, while four will be entered in the A6 class, two in the N2 category and one in both the N3 and A7 classes.


The rally remains faithful to its traditional format of visiting the three valleys of Cordoba province, each of which offers stages of differing character and landscape. However, several of last year's scheduled opening day tests near La Falda have been dropped and two stages not used for several years have been reintroduced. Organisers have also scrapped the opening stage in Buenos Aires' River Plate soccer stadium.

The first day heads north from the Carlos Paz base into the Punilla Valley while the second leg, the longest of the event, heads south to the Calamuchita valley for a double pass over faster roads. Both days end with a new stage at Cordoba's soccer stadium, but without using the main arena. The final leg covers just 42km south-west of Carlos Paz in the Traslasierra mountains, comprising the rocky El Condor and Giulio C?sare tests, two of the most famous and toughest in the championship, which peak at 2195m. It ends with a super special stage over a different route at the stadium.

Drivers face 21 stages in total covering 347.91 kilometres in a route of 1619.45 kilometres.

Last year:

Sebastien Loeb won the 'abridged' Rally Argentina last year, leading practically from start-to-finish.

Proceedings only got underway 'proper' on the Saturday however, after all the transport problems on the Friday, which practically wiped out the first leg and left a number of drivers' and personnel stranded in Buenos Aires following the Thursday night super special.

Loeb took the lead from Mikko Hirvonen on the first 'real' test. He then proceeded to build up a good cushion and eventually finished the event 36.7 seconds in front.

Gronholm meanwhile was second, while Mikko Hirvonen took the final place on the podium in the second BP Ford Focus, with Jari-Matti Latvala and Henning Solberg fourth and fifth.

Daniel Sordo, Chris Atkinson and Manfred Stohl rounded out the points' scorers in sixth, seventh and eighth, with PWRC winner Federico Villagra ninth overall in a Mitsubishi Lancer.

In terms of retirees there was only one big casualty - namely Petter Solberg. 'Hollywood' went out on the penultimate stage when his car stopped with engine problems while running third overall. Matthew Wilson and Luis-Perez Companc also had issues but both got to the finish under the SupeRally format.



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