Volkswagen drivers in second and fourth place after day 2 of Rally Argentina

Several hundred thousand fans were gripped by a thrilling day of rallying today

The Volkswagen pairing Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) will now start the final day in Argentina in second place. Following five eventful special stages in the fifth event of this season’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) – with highs and lows for the Volkswagen drivers – Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) are in fourth position overall in the second Polo R WRC. Their team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN) will start the last four special stages on Saturday under Rally 2 regulations, having been forced to retire early due to a broken suspension.

Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport

Photo by: XPB Images

During the seventh special stage on Friday, Sébastien Ogier lost his overall lead when he missed a braking point on a muddy surface and skidded off the course. The French duo had to reverse, falling to third place overall as a result. Ogier wasted no time with his counter-attack, reclaiming second position behind record-breaking World Champion Sébastien Loeb (Citroën) in the following special. But there was even more drama to come: an attempt by Jari-Matti Latvala to claim third place overall was scuppered by a damaged tyre. 329.72 kilometres into the 407.64-kilometre event, Latvala is 8.2 seconds behind Evgeny Novikov (Ford) in fourth place – within reach of a podium finish.

Quotes following day three of the Rally Argentina

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #7
“It was another long and varied day’s rallying. We didn’t cope with the slow stretches very well this morning, but things went much better this afternoon after we made a few changes to our set-up. Then just as third place seemed within reach, we were set back by one of the tyres, which was damaged when we landed after a jump. I went straight back on the attack in the last stage and managed to regain ground on the team in third. We’re only 8.2 seconds behind Novikov and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s duel.”

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #8

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport

Photo by: Volkswagen Motorsport

“We lost a bit of time during the seventh special stage today. We skidded off the course on a long right-hand bend. Luckily, we were able to reverse and keep going. It’s a shame to lose the lead like that, of course, but it’s all part of rallying. We’re still ahead of our immediate opponents in the championship classifications, so we have the chance to keep collecting valuable points. And that’s precisely what we aim to do tomorrow.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“We’d agreed with our engineers that we would take more risks and go on the attack this afternoon. The special stages were very rough and harsh on the car, and there were lots of violent impacts which damaged something in the front wheel suspension. I was lucky in a way because we still completed the stage in a really good time. But we were unlucky too, because we had to retire early today because of the problem with the suspension. Anyway, tomorrow is another day and we’ll try to keep learning and covering more miles with the Polo R WRC. All in all, I’m not entirely unhappy with the rally.”

Jost Capito, Director of Volkswagen Motorsport
“Even the World Rally Championship doesn’t get more thrilling, more dramatic and more adrenaline-pumping than today’s action. Today, we saw just how quickly small mistakes can change the overall classification. Sébastien Ogier has put in a strong performance throughout the whole rally, but one slip-up cost him the lead. Jari-Matti Latvala did well to fight his way back into the rally, but a damaged tyre cost him another two minutes. And it was unlucky for Andreas Mikkelsen too that his suspension didn’t hold. But it wasn’t just us – the other factory teams in the WRC experienced their own minor and major dramas today too. All in all, we’re in a strong position for the final day in second and fourth place.”

Volkswagen Motorsport

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About this article
Series WRC
Article type Leg report
Tags argentina, jari matti latvala, polo r, volkswagen, wrc

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