Sainz wins dramatic Rally Argentina for Ford. Ford Rallye Sport drivers Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya were named as winners of the Rally Argentina late this evening after another amazing twist to this sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Sainz wins dramatic Rally Argentina for Ford.
Ford Rallye Sport drivers Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya were named as winners of the Rally Argentina late this evening after another amazing twist to this sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. The Spanish duo claimed their 24th world rally success, equalling the record of Tommi Mäkinen, and became the third 'winners' of the event in their Focus RS World Rally Car after Richard Burns (Peugeot) was excluded only hours after team-mate Marcus Grönholm suffered a similar fate.
Rally Stewards excluded the reigning world champion six hours after the finish when officials discovered his car's engine had an underweight flywheel. Peugeot chose not to appeal, echoing the team's response several hours earlier when Grönholm was eliminated after illegally receiving outside assistance at the start of the final leg this morning.
The decision promoted Ford Rallye Sport team-mates Colin McRae and Nicky Grist to third and Markko Märtin and Michael Park to fourth in another Focus RS, the best result in the 26-year-old Estonian driver's career.
"It's been an amazing day," said 40-year-old Sainz. "When I woke up this morning, victory was the last thing on my mind but rallying is a strange sport sometimes. I have often seen the other side of things myself, losing a victory at the last minute, so my feeling is that whatever happens the record books will say a win is a win.
"I drove to what I consider my maximum and this win makes a big difference to the championship situation. The next couple of rallies are very important. The Focus is a competitive and reliable car and we must make sure we make the most of that in Greece and Kenya," said Sainz.
<pre> Amended final positions 1. C Sainz/L Moya E Ford Focus RS 4hr 08min 09.1sec 2. P Solberg/P Mills N Subaru Impreza 4hr 08min 13.1sec 3. C McRae/N Grist GB Ford Focus RS 4hr 10min 28.2sec 4. M Märtin/M Park EE Ford Focus RS 4hr 11min 01.5sec 5. T Gardemeister/P Lukander FIN Skoda Octavia 4hr 13min 27.9sec 6. K Eriksson/T Thörner S Skoda Octavia 4hr 14min 25.7sec 7. J Kankkunen/J Repo FIN Hyundai Accent 4hr 16min 12.4sec 8 A McRae/D Senior GB Mitsubishi Lancer 4hr 16min 58.7sec 9. G Pozzo/D Stillo RA Skoda Octavia 4hr 22min 08.0sec 10 R Ferreyros/D Vallejo PE Mitsubishi Lancer 4hr 32min 27.6sec
FIA World Rally Championship (after round 6 of 14) Drivers Manufacturers 1. M Grönholm 31pts 1. Peugeot 68pts 2. G Panizzi 20pts 2. Ford 41pts 3. C Sainz 19pts 3. Subaru 33pts 4. R Burns 19pts 4. Mitsubishi 6pts 5. T Mäkinen 14pts 5. Skoda 5pts 6. P Solberg 13pts 6. Hyundai 3pts 7. C McRae 10pts 11 M Märtin 3pts