Cordoba-Villa Carlos Paz
Mechanical problems continue to haunt Van Merksteijn Motorsport
The entry in the WRC Rally Argentina has been a big disappointment for Van Merksteijn Motorsport. The reliability of the Citroën DS3 WRC proved to be a major concern in the morning and after the first special stage of the afternoon the Argentinean adventure was already finished for Peter van Merksteijn jr..
Thursday afternoon the 31st edition of the WRC Rally Argentina started with a short Super Special just outside Carlos Paz where the service park is located. Peter van Merksteijn jr. drove carefully on the three kilometer short circuit, a stage where more can be lost than won. Early on Friday morning the sole Dutch entry at the start of this rally set out for the first proper special stage. Peter jr. and his Belgian co-driver Eddy Chevaillier had a very good start and realized a solid 9th time over 18 kilometers. The next stage Peter jr. was still going strong with a tenth time on the stage and an equal position in the overall classification.
On the final stage of the morning, the 37 kilometer long El Condor stage with a major section of tarmac at the end, the Citroën DS3 WRC lost its turbo boost after only a few kilometers into the stage. Peter jr. stopped on the stage to check if he could fix the problem at the spot which was not the case and had to continue to the finish where he had upon arrival lost four minutes on his main competitors.
During the 30 minute service in Carlos Paz the spare turbo was fitted to the DS3 WRC engine and Peter van Merksteijn jr. could start the second loop of three stages. The joy of the repaired Citroën was short lived. After just a few kilometers the newly mounted turbo failed as well and Peter jr. had to park the car after reaching the finish of the stage and the early retirement in the WRC Rally Argentina was a fact.
“This is the third consecutive rally for Peter jr. that the DS3 WRC has failed him and he hasn’t reached the finish of a WRC round” according to Gerard Grouve, team manager of Van Merksteijn Motorsport. “We had good expectations for this rally and came here with the goal to finally reach the finish. The disappointment and frustration is enormous as that can’t be achieved, especially during an event so far from home.”