Bad luck for SEAT in Argentina
Both cars succumbed to clutch problems after negotiating some of the 39 water-splashes on this year's event. Pre-event testing, during which many similar water-crossings were driven through, had not created any such problems.
SEAT Sport's engineer team is working hard to analyze the problem and find solutions which will be tested by the drivers tomorrow in a new test located in a road with similar characteristics than the special stage where both cars retired today
Auriol said: "After crossing the first water-splash the clutch began to slip and after each water-splash we drove through the problem got worse. After the sixth water-splash the car stopped, and it was impossible to continue.
"This is really unlucky. We started this morning in good spirits and our stage times on the opening two stages showed that for sure we could fight for the top position. We punctured a rear tyre on the opening stage this morning and then hit a very big rock in the middle of the road on the second stage, but despite this we were still able to battle with the leaders. It's a great shame for all the team, as everyone in SEAT Sport has worked so hard. Of course we must continue to work hard and improve the car, and when our luck changes we will be able to fight on the podium for sure."
Gardemeister said: "Today was always going to be the most difficult day of the rally for me, because I could not remember any of the stages. We were driving very carefully, and I was pleased that we were still able to keep in touch with the leaders. Our clutch also started to slip after the first water-crossing, and after the third the car stopped completely and we were not able to drive any further."