Stig Blomqvist overcame jet lag and the lack of his own pace notes to drive a Rally Argentina stage at an average speed of 189.53kph. Just to be clear, that’s an average speed….
In 1983, super Swede Blomqvist was a busy man, tackling both the British Championship for Audi UK and the WRC in Ingolstadt’s main factory team.
The British series was going well and by the time August arrived, he’d all-but sewn up the title with four wins from five starts. The last of those victories came at the Ulster Rally at the end of July, an outing that compromised his efforts in south America.
Blomqvist finished in Belfast on the Saturday night and took the first available flight to Buenos Aires the following day. He then transferred south to Bariloche, arriving on Monday August 1.
Rally Argentina started the next day. Fortunately, Stig and co-driver Bjorn Cederberg were able to play themselves in gently… the opening test was the small matter of an 81km run from Fray Louis Beltran to Valle Azul.
Having arrived so late, there was no hope of any recce, so Blomqvist gratefully accepted the offer of a photocopy of his team-mate Hannu Mikkola’s notes.
With his head still in a different time zone, Blomqvist lined up his quattro A2 for SS1 and let rip. The car was fitted with the highest possible final drive, offering a top speed of 210kph.
Despite miserable winter conditions, Blomqvist spent most of the test bothering the quattro’s rev limiter to stop the clocks after just 25min 48sec. That meant an average of 189.53kph.
Despite that turbocharged start, he finished second to Mikkola, who went on to claim the title. When Blomqvist returned to Argentina 12 months later, he won and relieved Mikkola of the drivers’ crown by the end of the season.
For context, Kris Meeke holds the record for the fastest average speed across a whole event. His 126.62kph benchmark was set in a Citroën DS 3 WRC on the 2016 Neste Rally Finland.