Philips LED Rally Argentina, the 5th round in the 2013 calendar for World Rally Championship is all set and a go! It was hosted as a round of the WRC first in 1980, and is cited as one of the toughest events of the WRC trails.
Rally HQ will be based at Villa Carlos Paz, north to the national capital Buenos Aires. The rally is best known for the jumps, water splashes the stages offer, and the lunar landscape of the high altitude El Condor stage, which also happens for the Power Stage on its last run this rally.
The surface is pretty much sandy, that also increases the risk of punctures with the rocks being pulled onto the road by the passage of competing cars. Ruts are definitely expected as the road surface is softer, with second or more passes, more ruttier the stages is going to be become.
Tens of thousands of fans who line the route, and are considered some of the most enthusiastic rally folks on the planet. This was proved today, as the Qualifying stage run was almost jam-packed, and the organisers had to stop the stage in middle of the heat to control the crowd, as Mads Ostberg explained, "Too many spectators in wrong places on Qualifying, so stage is stopped. If I had followed only my pace notes, I would have hit someone!"
A total of 14 stages round up the event over a span of three days, starting with the opening super special stage later today.
|Pic.map by Volkswagen Motorsport|
Day 1 - The real actions begins early tomorrow, Thursday - 2nd May with the Sta. Catalina / La Pampa 1 stage, quickly followed by the marathon stage of Ascochinga / Agua de Oro 1. With a quick mid-day service, the action returns to a second run of the morning stages to end the day back at the Rally HQ.
Day 2 - Again two more stages Santa Rosa - Villa del Dique and Amboy - Yacanto, that are run twice with a service break in between the repetitions, and the day ends with the second super special stage.
Day 3 - Final day has Mina Clavero - Giulio Cesare and El Condor - Copina stages that are going to be repeated, but the latter stage will be the final Power Stage to conclude the rally back at Villa Carlos Paz.
In the Qualifying stage held today, the VW Polo R WRC driver Jari-Matti Latvala goes fastest, while the returning [with limited season outing] Citroen driver, Sebastien Loeb was second quickest with a difference of +0.035s to Jari, while VW Motorsport's no.1 driver Sebastien Ogier was +0.292s below the leader.
Citroen DS3 WRC driver Dani Sordo finished 4th quickest with +0.912s over, while Mikko Hirvonen, Mads Ostberg, Thierry Neuville were in the order downward. Latvala who topped the Qualifying chose his best position to start with tomorrow, i.e., last of the WRC cars hoping for a good dry weather conditions.
Stay tuned with us for more updates!!