16 May 08
Conrad Rautenbach spent the day on the fringes of the top 10. After a close fight with Munchi’s team driver Federico Villagra through the afternoon, Rautenbach’s highlight was moving ahead of the Argentinean on the second run through the longest stage of the day (SS5).
The Zimbabwean’s day wasn’t without technical problems, however, and his Citroen C4 WRC had a faulty handbrake during the morning. The PH Sport team disconnected the troublesome part for the afternoon and were investigating the reason for the problem overnight. The team was also busy fine-tuning the C4's set-up for Rautenbach, electing to alter the pre-load in the differential to stop the rear of the car stepping out on the exit of corners.
Rautenbach admitted he hadn't enjoyed today's narrower stages and said he was looking forward to getting into the roads he and British co-driver David Senior know better tomorrow.
"It's been a bit of a mediocre day, to be honest,” said Rautenbach. “The problem with the handbrake this morning was quite strange. Whenever I was going into a tight corner and pulling the handbrake, the car seemed to think it was going to stall and it would dip the clutch. This is not the best when you're coming out of the corner sideways and you need the power to keep the momentum of the car going. It didn't really help my confidence much - particularly as the roads today were quite narrow, without much room to play around with the car. Tomorrow, David [Senior] and I know the roads a bit more. I'm looking forward to those, if only I knew what the weather was going to do!"