Saturday | 25 Apr 2015

Argentina retirement roundup

With five WRC retirements in the first full day of competition, XION Rally Argentina bit back hard on Friday.

The good news is that all five crews involved will return on Saturday under Rally 2 regulations. Here's our quick recap of who went out, when and why. 

1. Sébastien Ogier.
The Frenchman was the first driver to bow out when a fuel supply problem dropped his Polo R's engine to three cylinders in the opening Aqua de Oro - Ascochinga stage (SS2). He parked by the roadside at the 45km point and the car went back to service on the back of a Volkswagen truck. It was Ogier's first retirement since last August's ADAC Rallye Deutschland. "It was a very small issue," explained VW team boss Jost Capito. "The car was fixed quickly so he will be back out again on Saturday."

2. Lorenzo Bertelli
The Italian, like Ogier, failed to make it out of SS2. Getting going again after a spin, Bertelli had got as far as second gear when the rear-left wheel fell off. That and related suspension damage forced him out. His Fiesta RS has been re-prepped and is all set for Bertelli's return on Saturday.

3. Hayden Paddon
Paddon was another casualty of SS2. The Kiwi hit trouble after just 3km when a gearbox mount broke on his Hyundai i20. He later reported a drive shaft problem, a gearbox drained of oil, a holed turbo boost pipe and an exhaust that was hanging off. Paddon nursed the car through the next stage and got it to the midday 30-minute service. But it went no further. Team principal Michel Nandan said: "We needed to replace the exhaust manifold, and that meant removing the engine."

4. Andreas Mikkelsen
Polo R driver Mikkelsen had an incident-packed morning, with a spin and a puncture on SS2 (pictured below) and suspension damage on SS3 that left a damper poking through the car's bonnet. His retirement, however, came after mechanics had patched up the car in service and sent it on its way to SS4. "We prepared the car properly, then on the road section Andreas noticed a problem with the servo pump for the steering," explained Capito. "It's not a problem we have seen before, and we didn't want him to do the two long stages like that."

5. Ott Tänak
The Estonian was fourth after the morning loop, but retired his Ford Fiesta RS after a water splash, two kilometres into the afternoon's first test (SS4). "There was just something in the water and we hit it," Tanak told "It broke the bolts and the front-left wheel came off." The car made it 20 metres out of the water before Tanak parked up. "There was no way to continue," he said. His car - the same one that sank to the bottom of a lake at Rally Guanajuato Mexico - is repaired and ready to go again.

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