It’s back. At last, after a seven-week hiatus, the World Rally Championship (WRC) returns on 22nd April with its fourth round, Rally Argentina. The event takes place in the lakeside resort of Villa Carlos Paz, just 30 minutes from the city of Córdoba and some 700 km north-west of the capital Buenos Aires.
The event will take place over four days and comprise of 18 special stages and around 365 km of competitive distance. The action gets underway with a brand new super special stage which takes place on the streets of Córdoba on the Thursday evening, before Friday sees the teams heading south into the Santa Rosa de Calamuchita valley, where they will have to contend with fast and sandy tracks.
These roads can deteriorate rapidly, especially when used twice, and if cars stray from the ‘rails’ it can be all too easy to roll. Many drivers will opt to raise the ride height of their vehicles for the second pass of the stages to try and compensate.
The day will also see two super special stages taking place in the local amusement park, which is always popular with spectators, before on the Saturday there are more stages around the town of Villa Carlos Paz, and the route will also take in some roads to the north of Córdoba which haven’t been used in the rally for 12 years.
Sunday sees the drama move into the Traslasierra mountains, famed for its spectacular barren landscapes and treacherous rock-strewn roads. In stark contrast to the previous terrain, these roads are hard and constant vigilance is needed from both driver and co-driver if they are to be successfully traversed. Final leg of the rally includes the classic El Cóndor and Giulio Cesare tests too.
Argentines may be famed for their love of football, but they are just as passionate about their motorsport, and we can expect passionate crowds and a sizzling atmosphere amidst some truly jaw-dropping scenery, throughout the event.
The Rally Argentina is not ŠKODA Motorsport’s nominated event, but nevertheless there will be three ŠKODA Fabia R5s on the start-line as Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, Didier Arias, and Nicolás Fuchs all look to make their mark in this fantastic event. And they and their teams will all have to have their wits about them if they are going to come away with anything from South America’s biggest rallying event.
All the drama will take place from 21st – 24th April.