The rally is based in Villa Carlos Paz in the city of Cordoba, nestled into the banks of the San Roque Lake. The service park lies at a height of 650 metres above sea level, but stages rise steeply into the surrounding mountains to a peak of 2100 metres, making this another high-altitude encounter.
Road position is particularly important as crews who are able to run the stages before the loose surface deteriorates too badly will gain significant advantage. The second passes of the stages in the afternoon will likely be increasingly treacherous for those further down the order as the ruts cut deep into the road. On the tough tests and in the inconsistent conditions, drivers must perform consistently to stay at the front.
The stages consist of medium- to high-speed routes that flow through the mountains in and around Cordoba, with a superspecial stage held inside the Cordoba Stadium. Crews will use the same hard compound variant of Pirelli Scorpion gravel tyre as debuted in Mexico.
This rally is extremely tough on cars as the environment is harsh and unforgiving and the high altitude robs the engines of power on the final day.
The event comprises 21 stages over 352 competitive kilometres through the Punilla Valley to the north of Cordoba, Santa Rosa de Calamuchita to the south and Traslasierra to the west. The spectator Superspecial stage inside the Cordoba Stadium will be run a total of three times, once at the end of each day.
Petter Solberg: “The rally is very narrow and fast, and it’s very good! Especially the people: there are so many fans that always come to watch the rally which makes it very special. The team have worked very hard since Mexico, I’m feeling very positive and I think everyone is feeling more confident for Argentina. We’ll go there and judge our pace but I think we can fight at the top. We’ll get the feel of the car from shakedown and then we’ll take it step by step and push from there. I’ll push hard, and then push a little more. That’s my approach.”
Chris Atkinson: “Argentina is probably one of the most difficult rallies for me. It seems to be a rally you need quite a bit of experience at, and that suits those who’ve been here for a long time. You recall Sainz and other greats winning this rally and making their careers because of it, and it’s a rally I’ve still to come to grips with speed-wise overall. I think we could be even more susceptible to punctures here than in Mexico so that will be an important factor. I joined Stéphane here last year for the first time, but it’s been great with him this last year so I don’t think it will make a difference. We can use our pace notes from last year though so it might mean that he won’t have so many hours of rewriting them!”
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