The Å koda Motorsport World Rally Team endured a difficult opening day of Rally Argentina, round nine of the World Rally Championship. After ending last nightâ€™s superspecial stages in ninth place Jani Paasonen was forced to retire on SS5 and...
The Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team endured a difficult opening day of Rally Argentina, round nine of the World Rally Championship.
After ending last night’s superspecial stages in ninth place Jani Paasonen was forced to retire on SS5 and will not continue in the event. Team mate Armin Schwarz broke a damper mount on this afternoon’s stages and ended the opening leg in 20th place.
After 40,000 enthusiastic spectators packed into the Complejo Pro Racing Motorsport centre for last night’s superspecial, thunderstorms struck the region and transformed the stages to the north of Carlos Paz into muddy tracks.
This is Škoda Motorsport’s first visit to Argentina with the Fabia WRC 05 but the vital information gathered from yesterday’s dry and dusty shakedown test proved worthless as temperatures fell to 5 degrees and the surface changed completely.
Tomorrow’s leg features four stages around Santa Rosa de Calamuchita to the south of Carlos Paz before a return to the north for three more stages (totalling 114.35kms).
Armin Schwarz: “The overnight rain meant that a watersplash on SS6 was deeper than usual and the water cut the engine. But my biggest problem came just 4kms into SS7 when part of a damper mount broke. We had to limp through all four stages this afternoon. We are lucky to be here at all this evening.”
Jani Paasonen: “Everything was going fine until about 8kms from the end of SS5. On a long fifth gear left hand bend there were some rocks inside and when I hit them the wheel broke sideways. We stopped straight away as it was obvious we couldn’t continue.”