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May 10, 2014 - 06:45 AM
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Latvala Leads, Ahead Of Ogier - Volkswagen With Two Polo R Wrcs Out In Front
Posted by: newsla on May 10, 2014 - 06:42 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
Latvala Leads, Ahead Of Ogier - Volkswagen With Two Polo R Wrcs Out In Front In Argentina


• One third into the rally: Volkswagen one-two in Argentina
• Clean sweep of stage wins for the Polo R WRC
• Latvala and Ogier battle it out for the overall lead at round five of the WRC

 

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The top two in the World Championship standings are embroiled in a thrilling duel at the Rally Argentina: Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), in the Polo R WRC, won all four special stages for Volkswagen on day one of the rally. World Champion and championship leader Ogier was involved in a spectacular battle with the man currently second in the World Championship, Latvala, with the lead twice changing hands between the two Volkswagen duos twice on.

The third Volkswagen works pairing of Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN) also made its mark on the opening day of the Rally Argentina. However, after four top-three times and running third overall on the fifth special stage, Mikkelsen/Markkula were forced to retire with a faulty alternator belt – just a few kilometres from the end of the final stage of the day. They will now return on Saturday, under Rally 2 regulations, with a five-minute penalty and running seventh overall. As such, they still have an excellent chance of scoring valuable points towards the World Championship.

Day one of the rally in Argentina was dominated by two long and heavily eroded special stages, each of which had to be tackled twice. The depressions and stones that littered the route following recent heavy rainfall put man and machine to the ultimate test. Many competitors were involved in incidents and lost a lot of time on the opening day.


Quotes after day one of the Rally Argentina

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“That was the tough start to the Rally Argentina we expected. However, I am very happy with my position after the opening day. We did a good job, particularly when you see how many of our rivals have fallen by the wayside. I had a few problems with grip on the final special stage of the day. All in all, however, the day was problem-free. The Polo R WRC is on good form and reliable, despite some brutal conditions. I am not worried about the 17-second gap to Jari-Matti. I am optimistic we can make that up on Saturday. Only one thing counts here for Julien and me: we want to win the Rally Argentina!”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“The day went well for us, particularly on the 50-kilometre plus stage. I felt right at home in my Polo and could really enjoy the route. I must say a big thank you to Miikka, who did a perfect job in the passenger seat. The setbacks that other teams have suffered only go to show just how difficult the rally is this year. Today it was very similar to the ‘Acropolis’, where it is not only important to be quick, but also only to push yourself to the limit when the route really allows it. It is obviously to lead the Rally Argentina overnight, but there is still a long way to go before we reach the finish. We will continue to focus on our job and do our best.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“I am obviously disappointed. I was really comfortable in the car and with my pace notes, and we had a good rhythm. We did not risk too much, but were still quick. We were right up there with the front-runners from the word go and were involved in a good battle for the top positions with our team-mates. Unfortunately the belt on the alternator came free just a few kilometres from the end of the final stage of the day. You can see from the results that the Polo R WRC is the car to beat here in Argentina. Unfortunately we were just unlucky.”

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“A day full of many highlights for us – and unfortunately a minor setback. All three Volkswagen duos produced a perfect display and led the field across the board. The three-way battle within the team for the top positions was exciting. The special stages today were far from easy, and the many washouts that had occurred in recent weeks made them very tough on the car. A lot of teams struggled today. The longest special stage of the rally – at 52 kilometres in length – was Jari-Matti Latvala country, while Sébastien Ogier made his mark on the 27-kilometre stage. Unfortunately a faulty alternator belt meant Andreas Mikkelsen had to call it a day prematurely, although he was lying in the top three. He can be just as proud of his performance as his two team-mates. When he re-joins the rally under Rally 2 regulations tomorrow, he will be able to show once again what he and the Polo R WRC are capable.”


And then there was ...

... Silke Hansen’s intuition. The weather forecaster for the Volkswagen works team in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) had to rely on this more than usual at the fifth round of the season in Argentina. For example: while 17 weather satellites overlap to cover an area of 357,168 km² in Germany, only three reliable satellites are available for the whole of Argentina. And that despite the country having an area of 2,780,400 km² – almost eight times the size of Germany.


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