Patrik Flodin, Nicolas Fuchs, Michal Kosciuszko, Gianluca Linari, Hayden Paddon and Yuriy Protasov all took part in a test near the rally base in Villa Carlos Paz on Monday, organised by Subaru Group N project manager George Donaldson.
Using a 2.4-kilometre road in La Falda, a former Rally Argentina stage, the test was open to all PWRC contenders and provided an opportunity for them to sample their cars ahead of Thursday’s shakedown and opening stage.
“It was a very successful test,” said Donaldson. “It ran on time, there were no dramas, no issues and the road was very representative of what we’ll find on the rally, with some soft and some rough sections.
“The test was useful for everyone but I think Paddon and Protasov got the most out of it because it’s their first time in Argentina and it gave them a much clearer idea of what they’ll experience on the rally.”
No official times were available but Donaldson reported Flodin lost approximately 15 minutes when his Subaru Impreza WRX STI suffered a minor suspension failure.
Linari’s running was restricted to approximately two hours after he spent the morning in a dentist’s surgery following on the onset of toothache on Sunday night.
Rally Argentina marks round three of the PWRC. Czech Martin Semerad, who elected not to take part in the test in his rented, DMACK-shod Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, is 15 points clear of New Zealander Paddon, who drives a Michelin-equipped Impreza.
“It’s going to be an extremely exciting weekend,” continued Donaldson. “We can look to Flodin, Paddon and Kosciuszko to set the pace. Semerad will play the numbers game and drive for points I’m sure, while [Peruvian] Fuchs is an unknown because of his knowledge of the conditions [in South America].”