WRC ARGENTINA: Solberg out; Loeb Inherits the Lead
After a dominating performance on most of the stages in the 2012 Philips Rally Argentina, Ford’s Petter Solberg was eliminated by steering damage on SS4.
Citroën’s number one, Sébastien Loeb didn’t have the best of starts as a poor tyre choice saw him spin 3 times but after two consecutive fastest times saw the world champion take over at the top of the leaderboard.
Loeb’s lead isn’t a comfortable one as he’s just one-tenth of a second clear of team-mate Hirvonen… “The start of the stage was not good at all but the rest was good, very tight. Dani is not very far so I hope we can have a little fight. ”
Dani Sordo is getting in tune with Jarri-Matti Latvala’s Ford Fiesta RS WRC but made a poor Tyre choice and he’s sitting in third position. “We had hard tires. This is a tactic to later to keep the soft tires.”
WRC Portugal 2nd place finisher, Evgeny Novikov was forced to retire when he ripped a wheel off his car on SS3, and fellow Ford ‘privateer’ Ott Tanak made two mistakes this morning, the second of which forced him into retirement on SS4.
Citroën ‘s Thierry Neuville rolled 26km after the start of SS5, giving away 4th position to WRC Portugal winner Mads Ostberg who is just ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah who has been suffering from a painful neck since the start.
Top 10 Standings after SS4
|1||Sébastien LOEB-DS 3 WRC||2:20:30.6|
|2||Mikko HIRVONEN-DS 3 WRC||2:20:30.7||+0.1|
|3||Daniel SORDO-Fiesta RS WRC||2:21:03.7||+33.1|
|4||Mads ØSTBERG-Fiesta RS WRC||2:21:49.0||+1:18.4|
|5||Nasser AL-ATTIYAH-DS3 WRC||2:25:47.5||+5:16.9|
|6||Martin PROKOP-Fiesta RS WRC||2:26:54.8||+6:24.2|
|7||Andreas MIKKELSEN-Fabia S2000||2:27:06.6||+6:36.0|
|8||Sébastien OGIER-Fabia S2000||2:27:29.4||+6:58.8|
|9||Armindo ARAÚJO-MINI John Cooper||2:28:45.1||+8:14.5|
|10||Thierry NEUVILLE-DS3 WRC||2:30:43.8||+10:13.2|
Saturday’s action will see competitors head south to Santa Rosa de Calamuchita and the day’s programme includes a 40 kilometer stage. Wish the remaining teams the very best of luck.
Pictures Courtesy Rallye Sport.fr & Ford WRC
Footage Courtesy Citroen WRT
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