PWRC A FULL 2014
PREVIEW RALLY ARGENTINA 2014 – MAX RENDINA
8 May 2014
Max Rendina arrived last weekend to South America on time for the fifth round of the World Rally Championship that will soon take place in Argentina. This is the second event of the season held in the continent, although this time in the Southern Hemisphere during fall time, one of the most traditional venues of the calendar.
The Italian leads the Production series and will compete there for the first time, but he has already said that he brings high expectations to keep on being the man to beat in his class, co-driven as usual by Mario Pizzuti and trusting the reliability of the Rally Project Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, technically assisted by Ralliart Italy.
With 75 points and wins in Montecarlo, Portugal and Mexico, Rendina displays an interesting advantage of 32 points over fellow countryman Gianluca Linari and 55 over Juan Carlos Alonso, who in this opportunity starts with the benefits of being local.
The driver from Rome and Pizzuti began the recce works early yesterday (Tuesday), getting in touch with the gravel stages that will run in an event whose start is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon (May 8th).
I am happy to visit Argentina because I heard many interesting things about this rally. I took a look to what can come next and I admit that, though 80% of my experience comes from events on tarmac, I am getting on quite well with gravel surfaces and enjoying my drive there. I am pleased to come here with some sort of comfort in terms of the points scored so far after some consecutives great results that maybe I was not expecting earlier in the year. The hard part of the rally begins on Friday, so we will have to see what the others in the Production class do and set a pace after that. The stages are nice to drive, although some of them are quite rutted.
Facts and figures
This is the 34th edition of Rally Argentina. The first one was held in 1980 in the Northern provinces and was won by the Fiat 131 Abarth of the German duo Walter Röhrl-Christian Geistdörfer. 1982 was missing because of the Malvinas/Falklands War and in 1983 the event moved further south, specifically to Bariloche in the Andes region, where crews reached dramatically high average speeds. This led to a relocation, so the rally settled in Córdoba since 1984, remaining in Central Argentina ever since (with the exception of a return to Tucumán in 1992). The stages around the Sierras hills are all on gravel, sometimes including big stones loose on the road, sometimes sandy and with many water splashes in between.
A special feature there is the enthusiasm of the fans. This is a 40-million people country well-known for its meat (asado), good red wine and tango (Spanish is the official language and Buenos Aires the capital) where Formula 1 stars Juan Manuel Fangio, Froilán González and Carlos Reutemann were born, plus 2001 Group N World champion Gabriel Pozzo. This means that huge local crowds (recently increased by visitors also from Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile, among other places) were counted up to a million or more flocking to the the rally route.
The resort town of Villa Carlos Paz hosts the participants for an event which is valid not only for the World Championship, but also for the Argentine and South American series. The service park is found one side of the San Roque Lake there, very near from the 6,00-kilometer circuit that will begin the show with a superspecial at 4:00pm tomorrow. After that, three more days follow until completing a 14-stage rally with a 1,571.14-km. total distance (1,166.04 of road sections and 405.10 of pure speed). The famous El Cóndor road (16,32 km.) will also be where the Power Stage will be run on Sunday just before the finish. With 51.88 km., Ascochinga-Agua de Oro is its longest stage (3 and 5) on Friday, while the Parque Temático track at Carlos Paz is the shortest (1 and 10).
1-Max Rendina (Italy) 75 points, 2-Gianluca Linari (Italy) 43, 3-Juan Carlos Alonso (Argentina) 18, 4-Augusto Bestard (Paraguay) y Marco Vallario (Italy) 15.
Max Rendina WRC2-Mario Mario Pizzuti- Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X by Www – Rally Project . com srl / Ralliart Italia
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