For immediate release: 11 May 2000 Rally Argentina - after stage 2, Complejo Pro-Racing Huge crowds of enthusiastic south American fans enjoyed a spectacular opening to the Rally Argentina this evening as this sixth round of the FIA World...
For immediate release: 11 May 2000
Rally Argentina - after stage 2, Complejo Pro-Racing
Huge crowds of enthusiastic south American fans enjoyed a spectacular opening to the Rally Argentina this evening as this sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship began in warm late afternoon sunshine in the lakeside holiday resort of Villa Carlos Paz.
Darkness had fallen by the time the leading cars tackled the opening two super special stages, watched by an estimated 60,000 fans at a magnificent new purpose-built motorsport complex close to the town.
Ford Martini drivers Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya completed the two gravel 3.44km tests in third place, after posting third fastest time on each stage in their Ford Focus World Rally Car. They lie just 1.3sec behind leader Richard Burns, fastest on both stages. Sainz returned to the service park concerned about first gear and mechanics fitted a new gearbox as a precaution.
Ford Martini team-mates Colin McRae and Nicky Grist lie fifth in their Focus while Petter Solberg and Phil Mills, driving a third Focus, are eighth. Neither McRae nor Solberg suffered any problems during the two stages.
"That was good fun," said McRae. "It was one of the best super special stages I've competed on and excellent entertainment for the spectators. But we must forget that now because the rally really starts on the first stage in the morning."
The action restarts at 07.30 tomorrow when the drivers head north from Villa Carlos Paz for a day of fast and furious driving based around the town of La Cumbre. Competitors face seven more stages totalling 126.92km before arriving in Cordoba for the overnight halt at 19.03.
<pre> Leaderboard after stage 2 1. R Burns/R Reid GB Subaru Impreza 4min 55.6sec 2. M Gronholm/T Rautiainen FIN Peugeot 206 4min 56.0sec 3. C Sainz/L Moya E Ford Focus 4min 56.9sec 4. F Delecour/D Grataloup F Peugeot 206 4min 59.2sec 5. C McRae/N Grist GB Ford Focus 5min 00.2sec 6. J Kankkunen/J Repo FIN Subaru Impreza 5min 00.4sec 7. D Auriol/D Giraudet F Seat Cordoba 5min 00.7sec 8. T Gardemeister/P Lukander FIN Seat Cordoba 5min 01.9sec 9. P Solberg/P Mills N Ford Focus 5min 02.1sec 10 T Makinen/R Mannisenmaki FIN Mitsubishi Lancer 5min 03.1sec