The party has been postponed. But the party is coming. Believe me, the party is coming.
When I arrived in Argentina, I was so fired up and so ready to win the rally. I really believed we were going to win here with our Fiesta RS WRC. I had a great feeling. And it started really well: no stress, no panic, just good, sensible and fast driving. But not crazy.
We had a small problem with the padding coming off the side of the seat and going under the pedals on the first long stage; at the time this was a little bit stressful, but I didn't let it worry me at all. Then we were fastest in Ascochinga and, after three stages, we had a 20-second lead.
On most rounds of the World Rally Championship, you would be happy with this and, don't get me wrong, Chris [Patterson, co-driver] and I were very happy - but at the same time we knew what kind of event we were in. This was the toughest rally of the year and we were only just starting it.
So you can imagine the disappointment when we retired on the next stage. It was unbelievable how quickly things changed.
The re-run of Friday morning's stages were always going to be a little bit harder. There had been a lot of rain on the route and the roads were quite soft, meaning they were going to be getting quite rutted. We were following the route through these ruts when the sumpguard hit some bedrock in the middle of the road. This bent the steering arm on the left of the car. I kept on going, the steering was out of line, but it wasn't costing so much time.
Solberg hit trouble early on © LAT
The problem came about six miles further up the road, when we came over a crest flat in sixth gear. The arm broke and we went off and hit a rock on the right. It was quite a moment.
After that, we had to stop and fix the problem in the stage. This cost us a lot of time, but we got the job done - only to discover the arm on the right-hand side had been broken in the impact with the rock.
We radioed the team and they told us to pull over. When I sat there, I can't tell you how sad this all made me. It's a terrible feeling, especially when we know what we could have achieved.
That was day one, finished. I went back to the hotel and I actually went to bed at five o'clock in the afternoon. I just wanted to rest and collect my thoughts and then come out of the hotel room fighting the next morning.
And that's what I did.
I wanted to push, push, push to get as many points as possible and climb back up the leaderboard. Malcolm [Wilson, team principal] and I looked at things and we thought getting back to fifth place was realistic. That meant taking something like 10 minutes out of the cars ahead, but I was really up for it.
In the end, I couldn't quite manage fifth. The place on the road didn't help on Saturday morning, when it was a little bit drier than we expected - we ended up sweeping some of the loose gravel clear. And the stages over the weekend were a little bit faster than the twistier ones on Friday: when we're all making the same speed down the straights, it's not as easy to pull the time back.
As we pushed on through the weekend, the hurt from our retirement began to fade a little bit and one thing that helped was the result for the Ford World Rally Team; it was a proud moment for me to be part of the team that scored its 150th consecutive World Rally Championship points-scoring finish in Argentina.
From Malcolm and Gerard [Quinn, Ford of Europe motorsport director] down, this is a fantastic bunch of people and they all deserve to take a lot of credit for an incredible, amazing achievement.
Like I said at the top of this column, I came here wanting a party - a winning party. The first reason I wanted to do this was obvious, but the second is because the people here deserve to have a good time. I love this rally and I love these people. The atmosphere when you drive through the stages is just unbelievable - you can actually hear them cheering and you can smell the steak cooking on their fires.
It's like no other rally on earth and I wanted to celebrate with these people.
Solberg finished sixth in Argentina © LAT
I have been competing on this rally for a few years now and I recognise some of the fans who come back year after year.
I did at least manage to celebrate at the end of the power stage, where we took the fastest time and an extra three points. There is a long way to go in the championship and those three points could be very valuable at the end of the year. Fastest in the power stage meant I was quickest on every stage on Sunday, so I'm happy with that.
Once again, I am writing these words for you from five miles up. I was pretty much straight out of Argentina and over to France for some more preparation work in the days after the event.
After that, there is another really important job for me to do - support Oliver, my son, in his first cross-kart race in Norway. He took the silver medal in the championship last year and is hoping to go one better this time around. This weekend is the first race of the season for him and it's really good for me to go over there and relax with the family. We take the motorhome and just go away as a family team - it's great.
Just before I go, there are a couple more things I want to say. Firstly, I want to thank Dani [Sordo], my one-time team-mate on this rally, for the great effort he put in - it was so hard for him and the team to be robbed of third in the last stage.
And secondly, get well Jari-Matti [Latvala]. Jari-Matti and I are a team this year and we will be back together and fighting the Citroens in Greece very soon.
Like I said, I know we can do it. There's no stress now for me, the result will come. Trust me. And get ready for that party.
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