Luck was fickle for the OMV World Rally Team (Citroen Xsara WRC) on the second day of the 25th Rally Argentina. While Xevi Pons (Spa) was able to make up five seconds on Ford-works driver Roman Kresta in front of him, a defective damper on SS 17 had Manfred Stohl lose further 13 seconds
on Francois Duval (Bel/Citroen Xsara WRC/7th place). The 33-year-old Viennese should nevertheless be able to score at least one WRC-point. And a top-10 place is still within reach for Pons.
Déjà vu for Stohl
Manfred Stohl's hunt for Francois Duval was stopped short for a while on the last special stage of day two. After the OMV driver had put the Belgian under heavy pressure during two special stages the front left damper gave out on SS 17. Stohl: “It was a kind of déjá vu. I also had a damper giving out on me in Greece. Only this time I was lucky enough to be able to finish the stage. One more, though, would have been one too much.“ On Sunday the Austrian of the OMV World Rally Team will give his all to defend the eighth overall place – and therefore one WRC-point – and, if possible, to attack Duval once more. “That's no easy task for „El Condor“ is probably the most difficult special stage of the whole rally – and we'll have to complete it twice.”
Top-10 would be nice but not a must
Xevi Pons has his own plans for the final leg. After a more cautious performance on Saturday morning the Spanish OMV driver put his foot down once again in the afternoon and made up time on Roman Kresta (CZ/Ford).
Pons: “9,9 seconds are not too much to make up. I'll have to keep an eye on the finishing line, nevertheless, for this remains our main goal. Even if the top-10 shouldn't work out this time: our first big test will be the OMV ADAC Rallye in Germany. We'll ride our attack on tarmac.”
Dominating private team
Kronos Racing Team Manager Marc van Dalen is quite content before the final leg: “We are still the dominating private team with places one and two. And the overall places eight and eleven are okay, as well, if one takes into account that, except for Galli (mitsubishi) and Paasonen (Skoda), no works driver had to retire yet. And there is still room for some improvement on Sunday.“
The 3rd leg will commence on Sunday at 8.30 (local time). Scheduled are further 64,13 special stage kilometres. The first car is being expected at the finish in Carlos Paz at about 13.23 (local time).
Press Release OMV World Rally Team