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Loeb wins his sixth Rally Argentina

Speedcafe.com

Monday 30th May, 2011 - 6:05am

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Sebastien Loeb (right) and Daniel Elena stormed from third place to take victory on Rally Argentina

Sebastien Loeb has stormed from third place and an overnight deficit of 47.7-seconds to Citroen team-mate Sebastien Ogier to win Rally Argentina for the sixth time.

Ogier had been in control with four stages left to run only to roll on the day’s first stage. He was able to complete the run with the fifth fastest time but his lead had been trimmed to 21.5-seconds. However, the damage he’d inflicted on his Citroen DS3 WRC included the loss of power steering.

With three stages before the finish and no service, Ogier was unable to prevent further time loss. Despite starting the event-closing Power Stage 3.3-seocnds up on Loeb, he slipped to third in the overall classification behind Loeb and Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen.

“This is really incredible because I never thought this would be possible after my penalty on Friday,” said Loeb in reference to the 60-second penalty he received for entering a regroup ahead of schedule.

“It’s been a difficult rally and, okay, my rivals have had problems, but it’s a very good feeling now.”

Hirvonen started the final morning in second position in his Fiesta RS WRC but slipped behind Loeb on stage 16. However, he was able to recapture the runner-up spot when he moved ahead of Ogier on the final stage.

“Ending the weekend with a podium is a good result but it’s not been a great event because I’ve struggled for the speed,” said Hirvonen.

Ogier had been on course for his third victory of 2011 at the start of the day only to roll after taking a deep cut through a corner on Sunday’s opening test. The dejected Frenchman said his car had been “impossible to drive”.

“I tried to do what I could but it was so hard. It was a stupid mistake for sure,” said Ogier.

Petter Solberg made up for the disappointment of his power steering failure on Saturday afternoon, which cost him a shot at victory, by claiming his first Power Stage win of the season to finish in fourth overall in his privateer DS3 WRC and earn three bonus points.

Mads Ostberg claimed fifth place in his M-Sport Stobart Fiesta on his Rally Argentina debut. Federico Villagra was the top Argentine driver in sixth overall despite brake troubles hampering his Munchi’s Fiesta over the closing stages.

Jari-Matti Latvala’s recovery from his retirement on day two netted seventh place and crucial manufacturers’ championship points for Ford.

Production Car World Rally Championship aces Hayden Paddon and Patrik Flodin completed the event in ninth and 10th.

Ford weekend review video

Final Results : Rally Argentina

Pos Driver Car Model Time
1 Sebastien Loeb Citroen DS3 WRC 4:03:56.9
2 Mikko Hirvonen Ford Fiesta WRC +0:02.4
3 Sebastien Ogier Citroen DS3 WRC +0:07.3
4 Petter Solberg Citroen DS3 WRC +0:32.6
5 Mads Østberg Ford Fiesta WRC +5:16.8
6 Federico Villagra Ford Fiesta WRC +6:48.5
7 Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Fiesta WRC +11:34.5
8 Matthew Wilson Ford Fiesta WRC +13:32.7
9 Hayden Paddon Subaru Impreza WRC +25:43.8
10 Patrik Flodin Subaru Impreza WRC +33:34.1

 

Driver’s Championship

Pos Driver Car Model Points
1 Sebastien Loeb Citroen DS3 WRC 126
2 Mikko Hirvonen Ford Fiesta WRC 113
3 Sebastien Ogier Citroen DS3 WRC 96
4 Jari Matti Latvala Ford Fiesta WRC 74
5 Petter Solberg Citroen DS3 WRC 61
6 Mads Østberg Ford Fiesta WRC 48

Manufacturers Championship

Pos Team Car Model Points
1 Citroen Total Citroen DS3 WRC 207
2 Ford Abu Dhabi Ford Fiesta WRC 174
3 M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta WRC 75
4 Petter Solberg Citroen DS3 WRC 49
5 Munchi’s Ford Fiesta WRC 32
6 Ice 1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC 26

 

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