Argentina: Gronholm's dominant win

Marcus Gronholm has won the Rally Argentina, with co-driver Timo Rautiainen, after a dominant day behind the wheel of the Peugeot. Carlos Sainz won the final stage but neither he nor third-placed man Richard Burns could catch the flying Finn, although it was not for the lack of trying

Argentina: Gronholm's dominant win

Burns tried desperately to claw back time in the closing stages, but frustration was his only reward as his Peugeot developed a turbo problem. He lost an agonising 40 seconds as he nursed his car through the final stage to finish almost a minute off Sainz. Harri Rovanpera finished fourth overall, with Subaru's Petter Solberg coming home in fifth.

The Peugeot team held its collective breath when Gronholm had an off and lost about two minutes getting back underway. "I still thought he could win, of course," said team boss Corrado Provera. "OK, hitting the rock was unfortunate, but it's just one of those things that happens occasionally if you're pushing hard.

"I feel so sorry for Richard (Burns), who lost second place due to our mistake with his turbo," added the Italian. "But he has done another extraordinary job."

Markko Martin started the day in the lead but lost it early on when his Ford Focus developed an oil pressure problem. But he would never have realistically held off the charge of Gronholm on top form.

Ford team boss Colin Wilson said: "Markko's first win will come but the great thing is that so many of our rivals have said how good our car is," he said. We've again showed its potential here and we've drawn a lot of confidence, especially in the way the suspension performed on such a rough surface. That gives us a big boost for Greece."

Whether or not Gronholm would have had Sainz - had it not been for his penalty for checking into a service stop at the wrong time - is a moot point, but the Citroen team has proven its point here. Despite no experience of Argentina it has come in and shown itself capable of winning, and the only remaining 'unknown' rally for the team is Cyprus.

Skoda kept its challenge afloat, despite a catalogue of small disasters. Didier Auriol and Toni Gardemeister finished sixth and seventh. Gardemeister started the rally with a minute penalty for driving without GPS tracking on the recce before the start.

Sainz's second place jumps him up to third overall in the championship, ahead of Sebastien Loeb and Colin McRae, while Burns sees his lead over Gronholm shrink by two points. Petter Solberg's consistency puts him equal sixth with Markko Martin and within four points of Sebastien Loeb and Colin McRae, the pair currently tied for fourth in the championship.

shares
comments
Day 3, am: Gronholm leads, Martin out

Previous article

Day 3, am: Gronholm leads, Martin out

Next article

Citroen shrugs off Argentina near miss

Citroen shrugs off Argentina near miss
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
21 h
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Plus

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Plus

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Plus

How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021