Argentina - Citroen Junior Team - Finish
Rally Argentina, the fifth round of the 2009 FIA World Rally Championship, has stayed true to its reputation of being hard on all the cars, as the competitors had to battle with the difficult terrain all the way to the finish.
the main Citroen team scored a memorable one-two thanks to Sebastien Loeb
and Dani Sordo, the Citroen Junior Team got to the end thanks to Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia.
Five different stages made up the final day of Rally Argentina, the shortest of the event with 48 competitive kilometres. On Sunday morning the crews set off for the Punilla Valley to the northwest of Villa Carlos Paz – just as they had on Friday.
Having started Sunday's stages in ninth place thanks to the SupeRally system following their retirement the day before due to a broken damper, Ogier and Ingrassia had to get to grips with some new routes on the final day which featured a varied route that combined very quick sections with twistier portions.
While some other crews hit problems, Ogier and Ingrassia re-established the pace they had set since the start of the rally to climb up the leaderboard.
With a seventh-fastest time on Villa Giardino – La Falda (SS19), the crew were able to get back into the points, and then they benefited from the retirement of Petter Solberg to climb to seventh in the overall classification by the end of Valle Hermoso – Casa Grande (SS20).
"The team has given us a very well-balanced car," Ogier said. "Everything is perfect this morning.
We're keeping up a good pace. Driving on roads like these is very good for our experience."
Three third-fastest times in Cosquin – Tanti (SS21), Tanta Nuevo – Villa Garcia (SS22) and Cordoba Stadium (SS23) underlined the performance of the French crew.
"It's been a good day," Ogier declared. "We've set some good times and that's very encouraging for the future."
This seventh place in Argentina allowed Ogier and co-driver Ingrassia to score two points for the Citroen Junior Team, and two points for themselves in the drivers' rankings.
"It was another extremely difficult rally," Citroen Junior Team Manager Benoit Nogier said. "One of our cars did not make the finish (Conrad Rautenbach's) and the other had to resort to SupeRally. But the strong performances of Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia on the final day are nonetheless encouraging with three third-fastest times."
"So we have plenty to look forward to in the coming events," Nogier concluded.