Armin Schwarz brought the Škoda Fabia WRC 05 home in 16th place to record his first ever finish on the Rally of Argentina.
His overall result was affected when he lost more than 10 minutes with a broken strut mount on the opening day but on today's classic stages of El Condor
and Giulio Cesare he recorded top 10 times before securing his place on two final superspecials at the Complejo Pro Racing centre in front of thousands of enthusiastic Argentine fans.
Jani Paasonen's rally ended on SS5 when part of the steering broke after he hit a rock at the side of the road. The team decided not to utilise the SupeRally option and to keep the car for a future event.
The World Rally Championship now heads back to Europe for two key events for the Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team. First will be Rally Finland (August 4-7) where Armin Schwarz and Jani Paasonen will be nominated for Manufacturers' points with Janne Tuohino in the third Fabia WRC 05. Two weeks later comes Rallye Deutschland (August 26-28) where Armin is joined by Alex Bengue and Jan Kopecký.
“The first stage today was very difficult because it was quite icy. You couldn't see the ice because the spectators walking into the stage had covered it with sand and so you never knew when the grip was going to suddenly disappear. The second two stages were really good and I had a lot of confidence in the car. Without our problems on the first day I'm sure we could have got a decent result and some points here but I am happy to finally have finished a rally that has never been kind to me.”
Martin Muehlmeier, Head of Škoda Motorsport
“Although our inexperience here meant that this was not a key event for us we again performed below our potential. I will not accept a similar result in Finland or Germany which are two of our most important events. From last year we know what the Fabia WRC can do on those rallies. Everyone knows what is expected of them.”
Press release Skoda Motorsport