Citroen hail the C4, Loeb and Sordo
Ford's hopes of breaking Sebastien Loeb
's dominance in the World Rally Championship took another blow at the weekend as the Citroen star recorded his fifth straight victory of the season ahead of team-mate Dani Sordo while Mikko Hirvonen
failed to finish and Jari-Matti Latvala could only finish sixth.
Hirvonen had been in contention for the Argentinean win until special stage 16 when the engine temperature on his Focus rocketed and forced retirement ending his run of 22 consecutive points finishes.
Latvala, under pressure to finish the event after a spate of accidents with the team, looked to be on target for third position before his Focus faltered losing him eight minutes in the process.
"It was a disappointing weekend, especially as we were challenging for victory," said Team Principal Malcolm Wilson.
"I'm pleased with Jari-Matti's progress. He was on course for a podium and I'm disappointed to lose that, but this rally was good for his confidence."
While Ford are left looking to make best of a bad situation, Citroen are unsurprisingly delighted with its incredible start to the season.
"This rally gave everyone in the team a chance to shine," said Citroen Racing Director Olivier Quesnel. "This event is particularly tough on the mechanicals, but both our C4 WRCs proved perfectly reliable and they took it all in our stride.
"In addition to the strength of our cars, Sebastien and Dani drove with their head and put in a great performance to claim 15 fastest times from 23," he continued. "They didn't make any mistakes and they both succeeded in turning on the speed when they had to. We fully deserved [the] one-two result."
Ford now trail Citroen by 39 points in the Manufacturers' standings while Loeb has a perfect 50 score in the drivers' title race with Hirvonen and Latvala third and seventh respectively.