The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team crew of Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena claimed their eighth consecutive Rally Argentina victory today. The nine-time World Champions finished South America’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship 55 seconds ahead of Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia. After an intense fight to the finish line, Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila claimed the final podium position.
Today’s route took the crews to two of the most iconic stages in the Championship, Mina Clavero and El Condor, both covered twice and with the second pass over El Condor counting as the Power Stage. Here, Latvala, Ogier and Mikko Hirvonen claimed the additional points for being the fastest three drivers over this single stage.
In the FIA World Rally Championship, Ogier retains his lead with Loeb moving into second position ahead of team-mate Hirvonen. The Volkswagen Motorsport team also maintains its advantage in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 14 points in hand to the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.
Loeb - who hasn’t competed in the WRC since Rally Sweden in February and won’t be seen again until Rallye de France in October - played it safe today, such was his advantage over Ogier, his French rival also content to claim second being that semi-retired Loeb is not one of his main Championship rivals. However, behind the two Sébastiens, the battle for third position raged. Novikov started the day ahead but with Latvala taking three consecutive stages victories, he was overhauled in the penultimate stage of the rally. The Finn then went on to win the Power Stage and extended his advantage when Novikov spun in the stage.
The sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship takes the contenders to Greece for the Acropolis Rally (30 May – 2 June).
Rally Argentina – Final Unofficial Classification (subject to scrutineering)