Stobart start well in classic Cordoba encounter
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford drivers Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson secured solid top-ten positions after the opening Super Special stage of Rally Argentina, the fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Tens of thousands of vocal Argentine fans packed into the Cordoba Stadium to watch the rally's 51 starters get underway racing side by side on the 2.4km stage.
Wilson was pitted against fellow young-gun Sebastien Ogier coming in just one second behind the Frenchman to finish ninth. Meanwhile Solberg, the winner of two Super Specials in Portugal earlier this month, went up against brother Petter finishing 0.6 seconds behind the younger Solberg and taking fifth place overall.
Both Wilson and Solberg took three runs in shakedown this morning. The Norwegian developed a problem with his power steering on the first run but this was quickly solved by the mechanics as they replaced the steering rack on his Ford Focus RS WRC. Day one will see the crews head into the hills north of Villa Carlos Paz for four different stages, each run twice, covering 142kms.
With overnight rain expected, conditions on the stages tomorrow may be different than those experienced by crews on the pre-event recce but both Stobart crews are hoping to use their road position to start strong on this tough event.
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Matthew Wilson said:
"That was a very slippery stage and we slid wide on a few corners, especially on the second lap, it was easy to make a mistake there. But we had no problems and it's good to have a clean start to the rally. The atmosphere was nice tonight and it's a good way to kick off the rally here in front of the fans, I'm sure we will see a lot more of them tomorrow. The shakedown was quite rough today so we just had three runs and everything felt good. We just need to see how much rain there will be tonight, but I think the weather should stay dry for most of tomorrow. That's what we want, dry roads will be better for us."
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Henning Solberg said:
"The stage tonight was good fun, but it always is here, we always see a stadium of rally-mad fans. I was hoping that we could get another fastest time just like on the Super Special in Portugal. It was great that we could race against Petter but unfortunately he came off best this time. The shakedown went fine today but we are expecting some rain overnight which may change the road conditions. It's better for me if the roads stay dry as my road position is good and I really want to push hard tomorrow as its important to get a good start to the rally."