Argentina Rally

Strange how some rally teams tackle huge travelling distances in their strides and tend to fight shy of others. The New Zealand Rally, for instance, attracted respectable numbers from Europe, yet July’s Argentina Rally drew only two professionally driven cars, and they only because Audi was keen to gather more World Championship points. Lancia, the German team’s only real rival this year, decided to stay away and what emerged was an event which, although well supported by local numbers, might well have been an Audi benefit.

Although only some 1,630 miles long, with 23 special stages accounting for 600 of them, the rally ran from Friday evening, July 27th, to the following Wednesday afternoon, starting at Buenos Aires and finishing at Cordoba where all three rest stops were also located.

Stig Blomqvist had no trouble at all staying in the lead, whilst team-mate Hannu Mikkola was equally happy in second place, ahead of a third Quattro provided for local driver Jorge Recalde. Indeed, one was reminded of that fiasco of a Brazil Rally a few years back when Rohrl and Alén used their Fiats to play games with the “opposition”, even stopping on some stages to decide which of them would make best time!

Blomqvist and Audi are now firmly in the lead of their respective championships, but there are still four rallies left in the drivers’ series and three in the one for makes, although the Rally of the 1000 Lakes (counting for both) will have just taken place by the time this issue of Motor Sport appears.