Argentina : Stobart M-Sport Ford - After SS1
All three Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team crews have successfully completed the opening stage of the 2007 Rally Argentina under the watchful eye of tens of thousands of fans at the River Plate Stadium in the country's capital, Buenos
Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud lead the way for the team after finishing in seventh position to the delight of the roaring crowd. Close behind are Matthew Wilson/Michael Orr in eighth while Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila lie outside the top ten after dropping some time on the extremely slippery opening test.
The start was set for a big night, and it did not disappoint, as competitors raced side-by-side through the 70-year-old soccer stadium, under its pillars of history.
The warm temperatures were a pleasant arrival for crews who, after travelling to Buenos Aires via air during the morning, had a few hours free to experience the country's capital before the commencement of the Super Special.
All three crews successfully completed the Shakedown stage yesterday and made final preparations for today's eagerly awaited start. The 4.59 kilometre Villa García – Cabalango test enabled the team to get familiar with their Ford Focus RS WRC06 rally cars after the four week break since Rally Portugal.
“It all went fine tonight, it was a good start to the rally for me. The stage was very slippery with a lot of loose gravel on top.
On the first lap I had a big slide on one of the long fast corners and lost some time; but I'm quite pleased with how it went tonight. It was an exciting stage for the spectators.”
“The stage was very slippery indeed and I think I lost out because of my road position, I was running quite high up the order and there was a slippery covering of gravel that made it hard to find traction. I didn't have the confidence in the long fast corners and I know it's only a super special stage but it's still a stage and I don't like losing time.”
“We have travelled a long way today to do a Super Special stage and it was good to get it completed without any problems. It was really special to compete in this historic stadium, I have seen it many times on television and it really is exceptional. We had a positive performance on the Shakedown yesterday and I'm looking to concentrate tomorrow morning and put on a good performance on the first main stage of the rally.”
Stobart M-Sport Ford