The importance of stage twelve
Running on soft compound BFGoodrich g-Force Gravels, Sebastien Loeb
profited from the La Cumbre-Agua de Oro stage on Saturday morning to pull out a decisive lead over his main threat Petter Solberg (Subaru).
In the fog, the driver's eye
is his co-driver, so the understanding between the two needs to be absolutely spot on. This 20km stage between La Cumbre and Agua de Oro was shrouded in thick fog, but once again Daniel Elena called out the notes perfectly.
SS12 was feared by the drivers, and notably by Sebastien Loeb
first time through on the Friday (as SS10) when being first on the road was a handicap over its sandy surface. Both passes were won by BFGoodrich drivers: Manfred Stohl (Peugeot/BFGoodrich) and Marcus Grönholm (Ford/BFGoodrich).
With the exception of the stadium-based super-specials, SS12 was the slowest stage of the rally and was covered at an average of 70 km/h, doubtlessly one of the lowest of the season.
On the other hand, certain Rally Argentina stages were completed at close to 110km/h, which isn't far off the average speeds recorded in Finland, which just goes to show how varied and challenging the South American event can be, both for the drivers and their tyres.
BFGoodrich g-Force Gravel '8', '9-' & '9': BFGoodrich runners called on three different compounds in the course of the weekend.
The softest compound (8) was chosen by Citroën's trio for Saturday morning's stages, while the medium-soft compound (9-) was used by Grönholm throughout the second leg, as well as by Loeb on the Friday morning (when he was first on the road).
Finally, the medium compound (9) was used by the majority of BFGoodrich runners on the Friday. The g-Force Gravel 9+ (hard compound) was not used at all because of the relatively low temperatures.
Press release BFGoodrich