No fewer than 5 of the 6 cars competing in the WRC2 category at the 2017 Rally Argentina (27th to 30th April) will be FABIA R5s, with the official ŠKODA Motorsport works team car being joined by some great South American drivers too. It was a South American in a FABIA R5 which won this rally last year (Peruvian Nicolás Fuchs) so everyone taking part will fancy their chances this time round at one of the year’s toughest, but most beautiful events.
For ŠKODA Motorsport, it will be the Swedish pairing of Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson representing the works team. It will be Pontus’ first drive ever at the Rally Argentina, but he will come into the event in confident mood after wins in his first two WRC2 rallies of the season, the Rally Sweden and the Rally Mexico.
There will be no shortage of other FABIA R5 drivers looking to end their 100% start to the season though. 32-year-old Mexican Benito Guerra Jr made his WRC2 debut in a FABIA R5 at this year’s Rally Mexico, where he secured third place with the FABIA R5 prepared and run by Motorsport Italia. In Argentina, he will be supported by co-driver Daniel Cué as he looks to improve his previous result.
The only Argentinian driver to compete in the WRC2 standings at his home event will be Juan Carlos Alonso, alongside co-driver Matias Mercadal. The experienced 47-year-old driver has competed regularly in this event since 2002, finishing fourth in the WRC2 standings in 2013.
His first WRC2 event in an R5 car was the Rally Finland in 2015 where he secured a sixth place in the WRC2 category. However, this year’s Rally Argentina will be his first ever rally in a ŠKODA FABIA R5, which is owned by Paraguayan driver Gustavo Saba’s team.
As well as preparing a car for Alonso, Gustavo Saba will also be taking part in the Rally Argentina himself. The 37-year-old reigning CODASUR and Paraguayan Champion, who also leads this season’s Paraguayan standings, will be taking part here for the fifth time, with two podium finishes to his name so far. Supported by Fernando Mussano, who co-drove for last year’s WRC2 winner here, Nicolás Fuchs, will be in the other FABIA R5 car from his own Saba Competicion team and is looking forward to the rally.
The final FABIA R5 competing will be driven by the Polish duo of Hubert Ptaszek / Maciej Szczepaniak. The Orlen Team crew finished second in the WRC2 standings here last year but was forced to retire from the Rally Mexico, the only WRC2 event they have started so far this season. They will no doubt be hoping for more luck this time round.
ŠKODA Motorsport will be keeping a close eye on the performance of all the FABIA R5s at this year’s Rally Argentina. And you can follow all the drama and excitement too, right here on the ŠKODA Motorsport website as well as on our social media profiles.