Following a stunning drive which saw him win 11 of the event's 22 stages, British driver, Richard Burns, has won the Rally of Argentina in a Subaru Impreza WRC2000. His team-mate, Juha Kankkuen, also put in an excellent performance, finishing...
Following a stunning drive which saw him win 11 of the event's 22 stages, British driver, Richard Burns, has won the Rally of Argentina in a Subaru Impreza WRC2000. His team-mate, Juha Kankkuen, also put in an excellent performance, finishing fourth and collecting more valuable points for the team.
"I'm absolutely ecstatic with this result. It's a fantastic feeling. All of the team deserve this - they've worked really hard over the last few days. But without a doubt this has been the toughest event of the year for me as well. The conditions were very difficult and muddy -- and right up until the end of the rally anything could have happened. There certainly wasn't any opportunity to take it easy -- I was pushing all the way. It's good to get more points, but the Championship's still a long way off yet and I'm just going to concentrate on winning the next event. "
Today's result is Richard's eighth World Rally victory and helps him towards his goal of winning the World Championship this year. Richard has extended his lead in the World Championship for Drivers, and is now 14 points clear in the contest, ahead of second placed driver, Marcus Gronholm.
The performance of the two technologically advanced Impreza WRC2000's, means that Subaru continue to dominate the Manufacturers' Championship. After 6 rounds they still lead the contest, 23 points ahead of second placed team Ford.
"Well, I had a bit of a problem on the first stage when I lost time in some trees, and there wasn't really enough time to make it up after that. Richard drove very well and I'm happy that a Subaru has won here again." Following a stunning drive, which saw him win 13 of the event's 22
Having won six of yesterday's seven stages, Richard's dominance on the Rally continued right from the start today. Overnight rain had kept the gravel roads wet, and with a light mist still lingering over the early sections Richard collected fastest times on the first three stages. An astonishing performance on the 24 kilometre SS17, saw him complete the stage 22 seconds faster than anyone else. By SS19 Richard had pulled ahead even further, opening up a 41 second time advantage which proved too much for the other competitors to catch.
The anticipated battle of the Brits between Richard and Colin McRae failed to materialise, after Colin retired with engine problems 7kms into SS17. But with Marcus Gronholm pushing hard in second place, Richard could not afford to ease off at any point on today's roughest stages of the Rally.
The next round of the World Rally Championship takes place in four weeks time when the teams head to Greece for the Acropolis Rally. Historically, the Acropolis is an excellent event for the Subaru World Rally Team. The notoriously rough stages seem to suit the rugged Impreza perfectly, and the team has won the event three times in the last four years. In 1999 Richard Burns claimed his debut win behind the wheel of a Subaru Impreza in Greece, and after such a stunning performance on the gravel here in Argentina he will start the event as favourite for a win once again.
In news from the Subaru Allstars Team, an excellent second place in the Teams' Cup for the Frenchman, Frederic Dor, puts him in joint lead of the Championship. But there was disappointment for the other Teams' Cup driver, Krzysztof Holowczyc of the Turning Point Rally Team, who retired from the Rally when his car suffered a throttle problem on the road section to SS17. Greek National Champion, John Papadimitriou, finished in 18th place overall and is looking forward to his next event when he competes on home territory in Greece.