27 - 29 Apr 12
20:00 That's it from Rally Argentina
Join us again for the Acropolis Rally on May 25-27!
19:58 Loeb delighted with Rally Argentina win
Sebastien Loeb may have missed out on a Power Stage point, but he rightly pleased with his 70th WRC victory: “It’s incredible. To win a rally as difficult as this one seven times in a row is amazing. It was a shame to see Dani by the side of the road, but what can you do? I’m very happy for my team.”
19:57 Tweet from @WRCgerardquinn
"Petter wins the Power Stage to gain valuable points in the drivers championship. #wrc #rallyargentina."
19:55 Ostberg "sorry" after Sordo retirement
Mads Ostberg has inherited a place for the second rally running, but has mixed feelings: “I feel very sorry for the whole [Ford] team because they’ve been so unlucky this year. I think it was the alternator belt, he [Sordo] stopped behind me in the control and asked me to take a look. It’s a big job and not something you can fix quickly.”
19:55 Hirvonen hails extended Rally Argentina result
Mikko Hirvonen finishes second overall but claims bonus points for going second fastest over the Power Stage. The extra mileage in this year's route gets the thumbs up: “I loved it. Such a fantastic challenge and great crowds.”
19:50 Top six recap after SS19: Sordo retirement elevates Ostberg to podium
The final standings after the Power Stage: 1 Sebastien Loeb 5h34m38.8s; 2 Mikko Hirvonen +15.2s; 3 Mads Ostberg +3m10.4s; 4 Martin Prokop +9m45.3s; 5 Thierry Neuville +11m17.6s; 6 Petter Solberg +12m12.2s.
19:47 Hirvonen, Loeb through SS19
Well, that's settled Rally Argentina 2012. Mikko Hirvonen posts a time of 2m34.0s - second fastest in the Power Stage behind Petter Solberg - and Sebastien Loeb follows through in 2m34.6s, a tantalising 0.2s off the championship points currently annexed by Nasser Al-Attiyah. It's currently Solberg - Hirvonen - Al-Attiyah in the bonus point places.
19:45 Solberg disappointed with Rally Argentina result
Petter Solberg may have won the Power Stage, but he's still regretting the steering arm breakage on Friday that cost him a chance of winning the rally: “The car is very fast, I’m very disappointed about Friday because we could have had a good result. It’s looking good.”
19:41 Sordo stopped on Power Stage
GPS tracking data indicates that Dani Sordo has come to a halt near the beginning of the Power Stage.
19:39 Tweet from @barrieford17
"@Petter_Solberg is on it!!!boom!!!stage wins galore!top job!#wrc #mrhollywood"
19:38 Ostberg misses top three on Power Stage
Mads Ostberg has been suffering handling issues all day so bonus points on the Power Stage were unlikely; and indeed he stops the clock at 2m36.9s, 4.0s off Solberg's benchmark and 0.7s off Novikov. Fourth best so far.
19:36 Prokop through SS19
No silverware for Martin Prokop, who finishes outside the stage top three on 2m41.5s, but barring incident he will finish fifth on Rally Argentina which is an excellent result for DMACK tyres.
19:33 Neuville finishes Rally Argentina
2m41.6s for Thierry Neuville, 8.7s down on Solberg. Sixth place is his barring further incident, a remarkable achievement after rolling out on Friday.
19:32 Solberg fastest so far again
In spite of his very worn tyres, Petter Solberg ends Rally Argentina with a time of 2m32.9s. That's now the time to beat.
19:30 Novikov second fastest on SS19
He's only been outside the top three times once today, and Evgeny Novikov comes through the final stage of Rally Argentina in 2m36.2s. It's been a tough weekend for the Russian driver, who lost 20 minutes to a variety of issues earlier in the event, but this guarantees a top ten finish for him.
19:28 Salazar, Al-Attiyah through SS19
The multi-talented Eliseo Salazar - though perhaps Nelson Piquet wouldn't agree - clocks up 2m55.0s through the Power Stage, while Nasser Al-Attiyah goes fastest of all by 3.8s on 2m34.4s.
19:27 Tanak ends eventful Rally Argentina
Ott Tanak is first through the stage and he finishes in 2m38.2s.
19:26 Stage Begin - SS19 Power Stage Copina (4.15km)
Here we go! Bonus points are available over this short 4.15km sprint.
19:24 Top six recap after SS18: Stasis before Power Stage
No change up front, but Petter Solberg's stage win brings him up to seventh overall, displacing Sebastien Ogier. 1 Sebastien Loeb 5h32m04.2s; 2 Mikko Hirvonen +15.8s; 3 Dani Sordo +1m41.2s; 4 Mads Ostberg +3m028.1s; 5 Martin Prokop +9m38.4s; 6 Thierry Neuville +11m10.6s.
19:23 Loeb consolidates in SS18
The final act of Rally Argentina is playing out as Sebastien Loeb comes through the penultimate stage second fastest, with 9m42.7s, extending the clear air between himself and team-mate Mikko Hirvonen to 15.8s.
19:22 Hirvonen safely through SS18
Mikko Hirvonen stops the clock at 9m52.9s. What can Sebastien Loeb do?
19:20 Ostberg, Sordo through SS18
Mads Ostberg and Dani Sordo continue to hold station in fourth and third overall, completing the stage in 9m48.0s and 13.8s respectively.
19:15 Prokop equals Tanak
Martin Prokop ends the stage with 9m55.2s, exactly the same time as Ott Tanak.
19:14 Neuville completes SS18
Thierry Neuville is safely through with 9m51.7s, second fastest so far.
19:13 Solberg quickest in SS18
Petter Solberg, worn tyres notwithstanding, comes through in 9m37.6s, undercutting Evgeny Novikov by 14.6s.
19:06 Tanak, Al-Attiyah, Novikov through SS18
Ott Tanak essays his final run through SS18 in 9m55.2s, only to be trumped by Nasser Al-Attiyah with a 9m54.7s. Evgeny Novikov then goes faster still on 9m52.2s. Not such a big margin this time for Novikov, who has finished in the top three on every stage today - perhaps he's saving his tyres for a final push on the Power Stage?
19:04 Tweet from @OfficialWRC
"SS17: Double blow for MINI team http://bit.ly/JTjK2V #WRC"
19:03 Stage Begin - SS18 El Condor / Casilla Negra (11.16km)
Fewer than 20km remain of this epic rally as we embark on a truncated El Condor stage - truncated, that is, because the final 4.15km is shortly to see service as the bonus point Power Stage...
18:53 Top six recap after SS17: Powder dry for Power Stage
The frontrunners are taking it easy, perhaps with a view to saving tyres for the Power Stage, so it's yet another stage win for Petter Solberg, followed closely by Evgeny Novikov. 1 Sebastien Loeb 5h22m21.5s; 2 Mikko Hirvonen +5.6s; 3 Dani Sordo +1m32.5s; 4 Mads Ostberg +3m02.8s; 5 Martin Prokop +9m25.9s; 6 Thierry Neuville +11m01.6s.
18:52 Loeb extends lead in SS17
Sebastien Loeb posts the sixth quickest time so far in SS17, stopping the clock at 15m45.8s - that extends his lead to 5.6s over team-mate Hirvonen: “We’ll just have to look after the tyres.”
18:49 Hirvonen completes SS17
15m50.1s for Mikko Hirvonen, seventh quickest through the stage so far: “It’s really rough and there are lots of rocks, even rougher than before.”
18:43 Sordo through SS17
Dani Sordo completes the stage in 15m40.2s, 10.9s off team-mate Solberg’s time. In fact, the only Ford driver to come close to Solberg’s benchmark is Evgeny Novikov, who was just 1.7s off: “We have been trying some different set-ups on the car, it’s been a good day.”
18:41 Ostberg rues handling issues
15m47.0s for Mads Ostberg: “We tried to do a lot of changes but it’s exactly the same, the car is uncontrollable. It’s like the rear diff is locked. We’re just trying to get through now. Things can happen so quickly when it’s this hard to drive the car, luckily it’s not far to the end.”
18:40 Nobre, Araujo out in SS17
GPS tracking indicates that both Armindo Araujo and Paulo Nobre have stopped in the stage. Reports indicate a steering arm breakage for Araujo.
18:38 Neuville through SS17
Thierry Neuville drops 10.1s to Solberg with a 15m39.4s, but he isn’t too worried: “I’m careful now because the stages are not so easy, very rough. We are watching the times of Petter but unless we make a mistake he cannot catch us. The crowd is excellent, you can see they really love the rally.”
18:36 Tweet from @oliveira_fj
"Is @Armindo_Araujo stopped on ss17??? My tracking shows he is just before split 3.... :-( #wrc"
18:31 Solberg has used the best of his tyres
Petter Solberg comes through in 15m29.3s, fastest so far by 1.7s, but he doesn’t sound optimistic: “My tyres are very worn now, it’s going to be hard to push. It doesn’t look like we have the tyres for the Power Stage but I’ll do my best.”
18:25 Al-Attiyah targeting Power Stage run
Nasser Al-Attiyah is saving his tyres for later, but he still goes fastest so far on 15m45.7s: “I was really careful here - I’m hoping to pick up some points in the Power Stage.”
18:13 Tanak completes SS17
15m53.5s for Ott Tanak: “It’s very rough on the stage, difficult to focus your eyes because the car is bouncing around so much. I wasn’t happy with the notes so I backed off a little bit before, we’re trying to improve them.”
18:11 Stage Begin - SS17 Mina Clavero / Giulio Cesare 2 (17.41km)
Just three short stages remain in Rally Argentina 2012 - and while the order up front looks settled, who knows what might unfold in the remaining kilometres?
15:19 Top six recap after SS16: Citroen managing the gap
As the leaders head to the midday service just 1.3s separate Citroen team-mates Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen - but will they be allowed to fight? 1 Sebastien Loeb 5h06m35.7s; 2 Mikko Hirvonen +1.3s; 3 Dani Sordo +1m38.1s; 4 Mads Ostberg +3m01.6s; 5 Martin Prokop +9m14.1s; 6 Thierry Neuville +11m08.0s.
15:17 Pressure off Ogier
Sebastien Ogier comes through the stage in 13m52.2s but his SWRC battle with Andreas Mikkelsen is over, Mikkelsen having halted with a broken suspension component at the end of SS15: “I don’t know exactly what happened to him [Mikkelsen]. It was a great battle and could have been close right to the end.”
15:15 Loeb aiming for safe rhythm
13m36.6s for Sebastien Loeb, opening the gap to Mikko Hirvonen to 1.3s: “It’s okay. We’re trying to take a safe rhythm at the moment. It was a long first loop.”
15:14 Hirvonen completes SS16
Mikko Hirvonen is third quickest so far, stopping the clock at 13m37.7s - 20.2s off Solberg's pace.
15:03 Neuville, Prokop through SS16
Thierry Neuville and Martin Prokop, in sixth and fifth places but running nearly two minutes apart, come through in 13m40.3s and 13m44.5s respectively.
15:02 Solberg fastest again in SS16
The leaders are yet to come through but Petter Solberg is flying again, ending Evgeny Novikov's brief reign atop the time sheet with a 13m17.5s - 18.5s faster than Novikov.
14:48 Novikov, Al-Attiyah safely through SS16
Evgeny Novikov and Nasser Al-Attiyah are through the stage and away to the service park, completing in 13m36.0s and 13m54.6s respectively.
14:42 Tanak not happy with pace notes
Ott Tanak comes through in 13m44.3s: “The tyres are completely finished so this one was very difficult. And we did the recce in fog so the pace notes are not quite right.”
14:41 Stage Begin - SS16 El Condor / Copina (16.32km)
The action is coming thick and fast now as the leaders on the road embark on SS16 - which will be featuring again later in truncated form - while the midfield is still running through SS15.
14:39 Mikkelsen in trouble on SS15
It looks like the sensational battle for SWRC honours is over as Andreas Mikkelsen drops over two minutes to Sebastien Ogier in the second half of the stage.
14:37 Top six recap after SS15: Loeb's lead slashed
Mikko Hirvonen hasn't won the stage - that honour is claimed by Petter Solberg again - but he's fast enough to wrangle team-mate Sebastien Loeb's lead down to 0.2s. 1 Sebastien Loeb 4h52m59.1s; 2 Mikko Hirvonen +0.2s; 3 Dani Sordo +1m34.2s; 4 Mads Ostberg +2m55.3s; 5 Martin Prokop +9m06.2s; 6 Thierry Neuville +11m04.3s.
14:35 Hirvonen takes more time out of Loeb
Mikko Hirvonen stops the clock at 15m56.7s, followed by his team-mate in 16m02.5s - that means Sebastien Loeb now leads Rally Argentina by just 0.2s!
14:32 Sordo, Ostberg through SS15
Mads Ostberg and Dani Sordo are now separated by 1m21.1s - with Sordo ahead - after finishing the stage in 16m03.7s and 16m02.0s respectively.
14:31 Tweet from @WorldRallyBlog
"@sackrebleu Not going to happen me thinks, unless Thierry get into trouble I don't see how Petter could catch him. #WRC"
14:29 Tweet from @sackrebleu
"Does somebody really think that Petter Solberg can get Thierry Neuville? Look at Neuville's times - he is too fast. #WRC"
14:28 Solberg quickest so far in SS15
Petter Solberg is still on a mission, undercutting Evgeny Novikov by 10.7s with a 15m38.1s.
14:21 Novikov, Neuville complete SS15
11th-placed Evgeny Novikov goes quickest with a 15m48.8s, followed by sixth-placed man Thierry Neuville on 15m54.9s.
14:14 Tanak, Al-Attiyah through SS15
Ott Tanak is first through the stage and sets an initial benchmark of 16m11.6s, which stands as the quickest time until Nasser Al-Attiyah stops the clock at 16m04.0s, undercutting him by 7.6s.
14:13 Tweet from @BrazilWRT
"Daniel Oliveira retired with engine problems from Rally Argentina. http://bit.ly/JjopVf #wrc #RA2012"
14:00 Tweet from @sackrebleu
"Okay Petter. I like you. I really do. But don't you dare to get in front of my Volkswagen boys in the overall standings. #WRC"
13:59 Tweet from @Rallyrykter
"@Becsywecsy @mattyjim1 is it possible for @Petter_Solberg to catch Mikkelsen and Ogier? #wrc"
13:58 Tweet from @Krisse_Sohlberg
"Thats the way Boss!! Great drive on the longstage!! Get those Volkswagen boys! #WRC #nothingtoloose"
13:56 Stage Begin - SS15 Mina Clavero / Giulio Cesare 1 (17.41km)
A shorter but no less stringent test awaits the drivers on this first of two runs through Mina Clavero.
13:15 Top six recap after SS14: Stage win for Solberg
Petter Solberg is clearly warming up for a tilt at the Power Stage win later today, with the bonus championship points that entails. He's a massive 59.8s quicker than rally leader Sebastien Loeb over this stage, but remains in ninth place after losing time on Friday. Thierry Neuville moves back into the top six at the expense of SWRC leader Sebastien Ogier. 1 Sebastien Loeb 4h36m56.6s; 2 Mikko Hirvonen +6.0ss; 3 Dani Sordo +1m34.7s; 4 Mads Ostberg +2m54.1s; 5 Martin Prokop +9m09.0s; 6 Thierry Neuville +11m11.9s.
13:13 SWRC battle rages in SS14
More stirring stuff from Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen - they come through in 40m01.9s and 39m58.7s respectively. That leaves them separated by just 1.8s overall, with Ogier leading.
13:10 Hirvonen, Loeb finish SS14
Both works Citroen drivers seem to have gone off the boil after the 35km mark, with only Mikko Hirvonen surpassing Ott Tanak's initial run. He completes the stage in 39m14.6s, followed by Sebastien Loeb in 39m15.8s. They're now separated by 6.0s overall.
13:07 Sordo completes SS14
With the works Citroens nearly two minutes ahead, Dani Sordo's job is to hold on to third place. 39m03.6s is fifth quickest so far but 47.6s slower than his Ford team-mate - still, no need to take risks with that podium slot...
13:04 Prokop, Ostberg through SS14
Martin Prokop stops the clock at 39m02.3s, then Mads Ostberg comes through in 39m03.8s - 0.5s is not much of a dent in Ostberg's advantage over Prokop in the overall standings. They're fifth and sixth, with Ostberg over six minutes ahead.
13:01 Tweet from @Rallycross_ERC
"#WRC #Rally argentina - Seems like both Citroëns are losing some time to the end, as Loeb is slow too in Sector 9."
13:01 Mikkelsen has the upper hand over Ogier
At the risk of bestowing the commentator's curse on the SWRC duellists, Sebastien Ogier is clawing back ground on Andreas Mikkelsen - having been nearly 10s apart, they're now separated by just under 5s...
13:00 Tweet from @Rallycross_ERC
"#WRC #Rally Argentina - Mikko Hirvonen made a mistake in Sector 9, he loses 5 seconds or so. Loeb to profit?"
12:58 Neuville completes SS14
Thierry Neuville started the day 8th overall after rolling out on Friday. 38m39.7s in SS14 is 23.7s off Solberg's benchmark.
12:56 Novikov, Solberg charging through SS14
Evgeny Novikov tops the classification so far with a 38m53.0s but his reign at the to pis short - Petter Solberg comes through in an extraordinary 38m16.0s. That's 59.3s faster than Tanak!
12:55 Tweet from @IrishKimiFan20
"Petter is still only gonna be 9th despite flyinggggggggg through this stage atm #WRC"
12:52 Al-Attiyah through SS14
Nasser Al-Attiyah said on Friday that he hoped by running a cautious but consistent pace he could secure a top-six place. Unfortunately he hasn't been able to steer clear of trouble and started today 12th overall, but he clears SS14 safely in 39m39.3s - 24.0s off Tanak's time.
12:11 Tanak completes SS14
Ott Tanak sets the benchmark time for today's longest stage, crossing the line in 39m15.3s
12:08 Stage Begin - SS14 Matadero / Ambul (65.74km)
Good morning and welcome to live coverage of the final day of action at Rally Argentina, the longest WRC event in terms of competitive kilometres since the Safari Rally in 2002. As expected it's been a race of attrition, and some of the less fortunate competitors are having to sweep the roads - 17th-placed Ott Tanak is running first on the road and has already made his way on to this 65km stage.
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