Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen win in Argentina
Citroën’s atomic duo just did their job in Argentina and as much as I dislike team orders and tactics and all that crap, that’s how you win championships and titles and become part of history. Especially if you come to Argentina after double 0 scored in Portugal and with main… haha, okay, okay… ONLY rival team being decimated and hit by Rally 2 curse early in the rally.
So, Sebastien Loeb wins it by team orders this time, but he was in furious battle with Mikko and victory was not served on silver plate. Plus, it is win number 70 for him and Daniel Elena. No further comment needed. Meanwhile, second place went to very clever Mikko Hirvonen. Finnish ace proved his point out on track, gave Loeb a run for his money early in rally and it is pretty obvious his learning days are pretty much over. Mikko is here, fast, hungry but clever. And to bring some justice into picture, Hirvonen got second spot and 2 extra points in power stage while Loeb got zero. Ha!
Mads Ostberg claims third, or rather inherits it once again. Poor Norwegian, second rally in a row saw him inherit podium position after another driver misfortune. Due to rather stupid idea by FIA to have Power Stage count towards overall classification, Dani Sordo lost it all on the very last stage of the rally, although I have no idea if that retirement was caused by Spaniard pushing too hard for extra points or was it just Ford being reliable again. Word is, alternator belt killed Sordo’s chances of amazing finish in his one-off outing for “blue oval”.
Sordo’s exit promoted Martin Prokop to fourth spot overall, which is best ever WRC result for new tire brand DMACK, and Thierry Neuville finished fifth, 44.6 seconds ahead of flying Petter Solberg. Norwegian did one of his already famous Rally 2 returns and stormed through the stages, winning maximum extra points on power stage as well.
If anything, Argentina proved WRC badly needs more equally strong teams, but I’ve been repeating this like a broken record. Andreas Mikkelsen spanked Sebastien Ogier’s former title contender butt before he retired, and host of privateers are fast as hell, but they are simply no match for manufacturer cars. And yeah, I’m not buying “all Fords and Citroëns are same regardless of privateer or manufacturer status” fairytale.