Wednesday | 27 Apr 2016

Argentina Driver Report: Part 1

We look at how the leading drivers coped on Argentina's rough gravel roads in the first part of our summary.

Dani Sordo (Hyundai i20 WRC)
Result: 4th
Argentina was another good drive from Sordo (above) who racked-up his second fourth place of the season so far. It wasn't an easy ride though and Dani spent several stages on Friday trying to control a sticking throttle pedal. Without that, he reckons he could have taken a podium place. And that sounds reasonable considering he finished only 11sec adrift. Either way, Sordo showed some impressive speed in the new i20, and being second-quickest to Paddon on SS18 was the team's first Power Stage one-two.

Henning Solberg (Ford Fiesta RS)
Result: 9th
We don't see enough of Henning in the WRC and that means it can take him a little while to get reacquainted with his car and settle in to each event. He did that well on Friday, ending the day in seventh place, but his chances of further progress up the leaderboard took a knock on Saturday's opener when his power steering failed. Unable to fix it, he ended up driving more than 60km without power assistance and dropped almost three minutes before the midday service. No fan of the fog, Henning also lost a chunk of time in the first running of El Condor.

Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta RS)
Result: 15th
Tanak started strongly with the third quickest time on SS1 and his pace continued well on Friday with a run of sixth-fastest times before an alternator-related problem forced him out after SS4. He rejoined on Saturday with a whopping 35 minutes of Rally 2 penalties. Nonetheless he thumped in a series of great stage times on the final two days including a win on Sunday's opener - DMACK’s first since 2012.

Eric Camilli (Ford Fiesta RS)
Result: 8th
After a run of misfortune on the opening three rounds, Camilli was under strict instructions from team boss Malcolm Wilson to get his car to the finish this time. And while his stage times were generally nothing to write home about, Camilli was delighted with a cautious, trouble-free run to eighth. The experience he says will help him on upcoming rounds - especially knowing where to push, and where not to. Mission accomplished.

Mads Østberg (Ford Fiesta RS)
Result: 5th
Fifth was a disappointing result for Mads who went to Argentina hoping for a third successive podium. Slower than fellow Fiesta RS pilot Tanak on the opening three stages, Mads denied there was anything wrong but, as the event wore on, his upbeat end of stage comments seemed increasingly out of step with his stage times. For a driver who claimed to be in a good rhythm and driving hard why wasn't he more competitive? It's a mystery. And one M-Sport has pledged to investigate before Portugal.

Jari-Matti Latvala (Volkswagen Polo R)
Result: 16th
Up until the 13th stage this was looking like another vintage event for Latvala, and a second consecutive win was on the cards. The Finn seemed calm and in control, despite Paddon snapping at his heels, so the high-speed roll that cost him the lead on SS14 came as a big shock. Latvala almost couldn't believe it and questioned why his car wasn't able to cope with a bit of bedrock. The rebuilt Polo R was less than 100 per cent when it appeared again on Sunday but Latvala nursed it through, even after breaking a steering-arm on the Power Stage, to salvage two manufacturer points.


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