Mads Østberg preserved his season’s 100 per cent record in the WRC 2 Pro category with victory at Xion Rally Argentina on Sunday afternoon.
He cruised to a massive 21-minute success over Gus Greensmith in the demanding four-day gravel event to score his second win of the year after previously triumphing in Sweden.
The Norwegian overcame a repeat of Saturday’s intercom communication problems in his Citroën C3 to claim victory in a rally he led for 17 of the 18 speed tests in Cordoba province.
“It was a long and hard event for an R5 car but we learned a lot and we’re happy to be through. We gathered a lot of important data to help with the development of this car,” he said.
Second for Greensmith in a Ford Fiesta allowed the Briton to close the gap on championship leader Lukasz Pieniazek to four points after five of the 14 rounds. Pieniazek did not compete in Argentina.
Pedro Heller overcame a big scare in the final speed test to secure his maiden WRC 2 victory.
The Chilean driver started the final Wolf Power Stage with a lead of more than 10 minutes in his Fiesta. However, the car stopped less than 1km from the finish of the iconic El Condór special stage.
Fans rushed to his aid and pushed his car which eventually restarted, and he limped to the finish to win by 9min 34sec from Benito Guerra’s Skoda Fabia.
“It was the worst I’ve ever lived in my life,” said Heller. “All the red alarms came on and the car would not turn on. I asked people to push me and it finally started but not in stage mode. I drove the final kilometre like that.”
Guerra recovered from an opening day roll to move to the head of the championship – but not without a scare of his own in the finale. Gearbox problems slowed him on the long uphill climb but he survived a difficult weekend.
Paolo Nobre finished third in a Fabia, with Alberto Heller and Takamoto Katsuta next up after problem-filled events.