Sébastien Loeb claims the best time
The pre-Rally Argentina shakedown session used a 6.2km stage near Cabalango. Sébastien Loeb profited from the fine, hot weather to post the fastest time of the morning on his third and final run.

Sébastien Loeb: "The conditions were very different today to those we encountered last year. It seems like they haven’t had rain in this part of the world for some time. There was plenty of dust about and a numerous rocks have become unearthed. If you hit one of them, there was a good chance of either picking up a puncture or damaging something. I think it will be a close fight this weekend because the terrain suits our rivals. But everything went well for us, too, and I am pleased with the set-up of my car. We will have to cope with the problem of ’road-sweeping’ tomorrow, though."

Dani Sordo: "I’m obviously glad to be here. Rallying is very important for the people of this region and we all get lots of support. Maybe I’ve got a few more fans than the others, though, because I speak the language! We spent last weekend in Buenos Aires where a road-show was organised in the city with the C4 WRC. We also got to see the soccer match between Boca and River. The atmosphere was just incredible! This promises to be a complex rally. The stages tend to be very sandy and slippery. It will be important to watch out for the stones that line the road through the narrower portions."

Sébastien Ogier: "The stages are rougher than when we covered them during recce last year. The most important thing for me will be to reach the finish. Since the start of the season, we have shown that we are capable of posting quick times, but we have also made some small mistakes and we have lacked consistency. For the first time this year, we will be driving a 2008-specification C4 WRC, which is notably better in terms of traction. All the cards are consequently stacked up in our favour and I hope everything goes smoothly for us. The stage used for shakedown was quite rutted, so we tried to accustom ourselves to the conditions which we are likely to come across this weekend."

Conrad Rautenbach: "This is a rally I really enjoy. It reminds me a little bit of Africa. The atmosphere is fantastic thanks to all the spectators who don’t miss a thing. We came fourth last year, so we are hoping for another good result. But first we will need to reach the finish. If I feel it’s possible, I will try to push a little harder. The biggest difficulty for me is the variety of terrains, which range from wide to narrow, from fast to twisty and from smooth to rough. We will also need to keep a close eye on the weather. It’s fine at the moment, but there’s a chance it could deteriorate tomorrow or on Saturday."

The rally begins with this evening’s super-special in Cordoba stadium. Action starts at 7pm local time…

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