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GP Week : Issue 43
C itroen finished 1-2 in Argentina, same old story, but it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. On the first day Sebastien Loeb had the disadvantage of starting first on the road while Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen was engaged in a tight battle for the lead with Loeb’s teammate Dani Sordo. Towards the end of the first day the Finn and the Spaniard were equal with Loeb lying third and Hirvonen’s teammate, Jari-Matti Latvala driving securely in sixth place. Day 2 Loeb attacked, passing firstly Hirvonen and then Sordo, and set about trying to build enough of a lead to keep his position secure on the final day, when he would again be driving first car on the road again. It was difficult. Ford knew that they needed to give Hirvonen more performance from his car, to prevent Loeb pulling too far ahead. Initially the ploy worked, then the engine in the Focus failed. Citroen were safely one- two once again. It is a situation which both Ford and the championship as a whole could have well done without... It was Loeb’s fifth win in five rallies this year, his fifth successive win on this event. All the five World Championship teams came to Argentina and, notwithstanding the world economic crisis, there was a strong entry further back as well. In the Citroen Junior team, Conrad Rautenbach’s fourth place last year gave him hopes, but event rookie Sebastien Ogier found it 44