Argentina : Kronos Citroen WRT - Preview
Sixth round of the 2006 FIA World Rally Championship, the Rally Argentina offers to the competitors their first trip to the Southern hemisphere this season.
Welcome in the country of Evita and Fangio, also the fatherland of tango,
proud gauchos and fantastic steaks.
Three Citroen Xsaras have travelled for a long journey to Córdoba. Two of them, in compliance with the 2006 specifications, will be entered under the Kronos Total Citroën World Rally Team banner, currently leading the ‘Manufacturers' championship. They will be driven by reigning World champions, Sebastien Loeb
and Daniel Elena, the 2005 Rally Argentina winners, and by their Spanish team-mates Xevi Pons and Carlos Del Barrio.
The third Citroen – Kronos Racing 2005 version's Xsara – is rented since the start of the season by Dani Sordo thanks to the support of his Spanish partners. Marc Marti – who won the event in 2004 next to Carlos Sainz – codrives as usual the Junior World Champion.
The 2006 edition of the rally includes big news. Córdoba ‘La Docta', Argentina's second city and Córdoba Province's capital, takes over from the balneal town of Villa Carlos Paz as host city. Rally HQ, service park, shakedown and super special stage all move around 30 kilometres to the East. However, the ‘playground' remains similar. The rally route covers the same stages as for previous years, as most drivers appreciate its various terrains including a large number of jumps and water-splashes.
The event will take the competitors through the Córdoba's Sierras, located West of the town and will pay a visit to the three different valleys of Punilla, Calamuchita and Traslasierra.
Taking place for the past two years during the Argentine winter, the event comes back to its 2003 date. Competitors will not experience snowy stages like last year in the area of Mina Clavero or ‘Camino de las Altas Cumbres, and fall promises much more clement temperatures and probably dry weather… It was the case three years ago but one thing needs to be remembered: in the stages, the drivers will have to face heavy dust suspended in the air when no wind blows.
Dry conditions might also mean ‘road sweeping' on Friday for the first drivers in the rankings, like Sebastien Loeb
current leader of the Drivers' championship. Another similarity with the 2003 edition is that the first leg covers over 110 competitive kilometres. The first day's classification might depend on the thickness of gravel to be cleaned from the surface. In any case, Seb or Marcus Grönholm starting just behind will experience pretty similar conditions.
For the fourth year in a row, a thrilling battle might oppose Marcus to a Xsara driver. In 2003 and 2004, the Finn fought against Carlos Sainz. They both won one event. Last year, Seb took over from his experienced former teammate and succeeded in winning over his main rival for this year's title…
“The fight can be a party” has written the Argentine Jorge Luis Borges. In the sumptuous decor of the sierras and in front of hundred thousands of enthusiastic and passionate spectators, the Kronos team hopes this can be the case…
Press release Citroen Kronos WRT