30 Mar 08
Gabor Mayer (H, Subaru) found the first day tricky and very rough but he had no problems. On day two, however, a broken steering arm in the morning made progress difficult as he felt he was fighting with the car and then a broken rear axle on SS20 cost him 15 minutes, but the Hungarian still finished 10th on his P-WRC debut.
Spyros Pavlides (CY, Subaru) damaged his rear right wheel and suspension during the morning of the first day and on SS7 his power steering broke. Things didn't get much better the next day as he bent his steering early on and then lost the power steering again but he steered clear of mechanical problems on the final day to finish 11th.
Evgeny Aksakov (RUS, Mitsubishi) had a smooth run on the first day but a damaged gearbox on SS12 after the deep water splash stopped him for the rest of day two. Day three he continued trouble-free to finish 12th.
Giorgio Bacco (I, Subaru) made a good start to his first outing in Argentina but on day two he stopped before SS13 with a broken radiator caused by a bad landing on the nose of his Impreza after a jump on SS11. SS12 went without a hitch but after refuel, the car would not start. He fixed two cables back to the battery which had disconnected but found that the radiator had also been dislodged, forcing him to stop for the remainder of the day. But with an aim to simply finish the rally, he was very happy to reach the end in 13th.
Like others, Andrej Jereb (SLO, Subaru) also took on board seven stage's worth of penalties after a broken steering arm stopped him on SS3. Things improved thereafter; the Slovenian stayed out of trouble and was very happy to reach the end in 14th.
Indonesian driver Subhan Aksa (IDN, Mitsubishi) only drove three kilometres of competition before he went off the road on the first stage, seeing him adopt 45 minutes of penalties for stages not completed. Day two proved to be better, although his Lancer struggled after taking on board too much water through the watersplash leaving him with a power steering problem, but he survived the final day to finally finish in 15th.
Uwe Nittel's (D) Mitsubishi sadly didn't see past the first special stage as a broken intercooler put an end to his rally.
San Marino driver Mirco Baldacci (Mitsubishi) bent a steering arm on SS2 which completely broke in the next stage. He went off the road and hit a wall but the car was too damaged to restart day two. Former P-WRC driver Marcos Ligato (RA, Mitsubishi) who was entered into the event by the organisers as a Guest Driver has a suspension problem after SS7 on day one. But a broken oil cooler resulted in a terminally damaged engine, forcing his retirement.
Gianluca Linari (I, Subaru) had an accident on the first stage of the rally, sidelining him for the day but eventually a broken wheel on day two saw his rally come to an end.
Toshi Arai (J, Subaru) limped through SS2 with a bent steering arm and then had to stop and change it in the next stage after it broke completely, costing him 16 minutes and pulling him down the order from second to 22nd and a broken suspension on SS6 eventually saw him sidelined for the day. Day two started better but broken dampers towards the end of the day denied him any possibility of working his way up the leaderboard and the Japanese preferred to retire from the rally to spend time looking into the cause of the problems instead of restarting.
On his first P-WRC event, Evgeny Novikov (RUS, Subaru) broke a front shock absorber and the two front anti-roll bar supports on SS1, claiming the car to be un-driveable, and after a tricky day he opted not to drive the superspecial stage to make repairs. A fuel pressure problem early on day two also saw the P-WRC's youngest ever driver (DOB 19.09.90) sidelined for the day and electrical problems saw him unable to restart for day three.
Not unlike his outing in his Junior car in Mexico, Patrik Sandell's (S, Peugeot) story in Argentina was one of fighting back in the wake of a string of problems. He lost the use of his handbrake SS1, by SS2 the clutch had stopped working as well and by SS3 he also had no power steering but two stage wins in the afternoon helped him power his way up the leaderboard, as did a couple more stage victories on day two. Bit disaster struck on SS19 when an overheating engine marked the end of his rally.
Stefano Marrini (I, Mitsubishi) took a cautious approach from the start but a broken radiator after a water splash on day two saw the water temperature go dangerously high, sidelining him for the day. He restarted the final day but engine woes forced him to retire in SS20.
Travis Pastrana (USA, Subaru) had a bad start to his rally as he rolled his Impreza on SS1, although still managing to continue; he had no brakes through SS2 and SS3, managing to make some repairs for SS4. But with so much damage to the front of the car after the accident, he incurred a minute in penalties leaving the midday service late. Then on SS7 he hit a rock 1.5 kilometres in and broke the front suspension. From day two things improved and he set a string of top five stage times, until a broken steering arm only a kilometre before the end of SS16 stopped him short, adding 15 minutes of time penalties to his tally. The final day wasn't any better as a broken rear axle truncated his rally on the penultimate stage.