Stage data: SS10, San Agustin-Santa Rosa II (20.18 kilometres)
Petter Solberg has gone fastest on stage 10 of Philips Rally Argentina in his factory Ford Fiesta as he attempts to recover lost ground following his retirement on Friday afternoon. The Norwegian was 6.2s quicker than team-mate Dani Sordo with event leader Sebastien Loeb third fastest in his Citroen.
“Hopefully now we keep on with our objectives,” said Solberg. “I now have a target and I hope I can get up to fifth. Hopefully there will be a couple of more retirements. But I’ve got to up the pace a bit I know.”
Sordo’s effort means he has strengthened his grip on third place. However, he has all but ruled out catching the leading Citroen drivers Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen, who is second. “We try to continue but their level is very high,” he said. “But I am happy.
Hirvonen was instructed to hold position behind Loeb at midday service. His reduced pace through stage 10 means he now trails Loeb by 5.0s in the overall standings.
“It’s important for the team to get maximum points because in Portugal it was not good,” said Hirvonen. “I would like to fight but it’s important to bring the car home and to try to do my job the best I can.”
Thierry Neuville said he was more confident following set-up changes to his Citroen at midday service. He was fourth fastest.
Sebastien Ogier completed the stage with damage to the left-rear suspension of his Volkswagen Motorsport-run Skoda Fabia. The Frenchman is unsure if he will be able to continue.
Brazil’s Paulo Nobre is unlikely to start the stage after an overheating problem developed on his WRC Team MINI Portugal John Cooper Works on the road section heading to the run. Nasser Al-Attiyah has retired from the day following his brush with a rock on the previous test.