Loeb Takes Command in Argentina

WRC Championship leader Sebastien Loeb has taken control of the Rally Argentina at the halfway stage of the first day proper of the Rally Argentina

Loeb Takes Command in Argentina

Loeb won three of this morning's four stages, overhauling early leader Petter Solberg on the longest stage of the rally, the 28.74km stage from Ascochinga to La Cumbre on SS5.

Searching for his sixth consecutive victory, Loeb was 3.8 seconds faster than Solberg through that stage, and now holds an 8.3-second advantage over the Norwegian. Solberg had started brightly, winning the days first stage, before Loeb piled on the pressure.

Marcus Gronholm remains the only other driver within striking distance of Loeb. However the Finn is currently 30.2 seconds behind the Frenchman, hanging on to the hope that the Frenchman hits trouble on this afternoon's re-run of this morning's stages.

Ford's Toni Gardemeister demonstrated the consistency that is behind his current third place in the championship. Despite recording stage times never higher than fifth this morning, the results of those around him means the Finn rests in fourth position, 48.2 seconds behind Gronholm.

Gardemeister is joined in the battle for fourth by Peugeot's Marko Martin and Mitsubishi's Harri Rovanpera, with just 8.9 seconds separating the trio.

Rovanpera would be higher than sixth if it wasn't for a spin on SS4, which cost him more than 39 seconds on the stage to winner Loeb.

Mitsubishi's Gig Galli was up to fourth position before transmission problems and broken suspension put him out on SS5. The Italian could restart the rally tomorrow under superrally regulations, but it is a bitter blow to the Japanese team, who had started the event so strongly.

Subaru's Chris Atkinson, privateer Citroen driver Manfred Stohl and works Citroen driver Francois Duval are involved in another close battle, for seventh. Only 4.3 seconds covers the trio.

Skoda's WRC woes continued with Janni Paasonen retired from the after grinding to a halt on SS4. Teammate Armin Schwarz is in 15th position.

shares
comments
Solberg Takes Early Lead

Previous article

Solberg Takes Early Lead

Next article

Loeb Enjoys Battle for Lead

Loeb Enjoys Battle for Lead
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb
Author Tim Redmayne
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021