The eyes of all rallying fans will be firmly fixed on South America this weekend and long awaited fourth round of the World Rally Championship (WRC), the Rally Argentina.
With its 18 stages and 365 kilometers of competitive distance, the Rally Argentina will be comprised of street stages, fast, sandy tracks, and rock-strewn mountain roads. And putting all that together with the changeable Argentinian climate means this promises to be an action-packed and hugely challenging event.
As with the previous round in Mexico, this rally is not a nominated event for the ŠKODA Motorsport team, but nevertheless there are three customer teams who will be running ŠKODA Fabia R5 cars.
For Peruvian driver Nicholás Fuchs and his Argentine co-driver Fernando Mussano this will be their second WRC event of the season, after finishing in the top three in 19 out of 21 special stages as they came home in a hugely creditable 4th position in the WRC2 category at the Rally Guanajuato Mexico.
They played a full part in Monday’s pre-event test which gave the team a chance to adapt to conditions, as well as tinker with the cars settings ahead of the first stage on Thursday night.
“We are really surprised with the strength the car demonstrated today,” said Nicholás Fuchs after the test. “We progressed today and pushed to the limit. Parts of the route force you to keep the car at a greater distance from the ground so we worked on lifting the car and finding balance. We are feeling really at home in this rally.”
Meanwhile Didier Arias will be making his first start of the WRC season in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 for the TGS Worldwide OU team. Paraguayan Arias will be supported by his long-time co-driver and countryman Hector Nunes and looking to build on their fantastic start to the season which has brought three podium finishes in three starts in Paraguay.
This has included a fantastic victory in what was only his second drive in a Fabia R5 at the Rally de Misiones, and Arias and his team will be pulling out all the stops to ensure they keeps this early momentum going in Argentina.
The third ŠKODA Fabia R5 on the start line in Córdoba will bear the colors of the Culture & Sport Qatar Rally Team and will see Qatari driver Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari looking to make a mark in their new vehicle.
Al-Kuwari has failed to finish in his first two starts in the Fabia R5, but the Rally Argentina will be just the second rally back with co-driver Killian Duffy, with whom he enjoyed great success in the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) in 2014 and they will be looking to rekindle their chemistry.
All the drama will take place from 21st – 24th April.