Loeb and Sordo neck and neck
After the first 70km of competitive action, the two CitroŽn Total World Rally Team-run CitroŽn C4 WRCs figure in second and third places overall. Sťbastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, who took command after SS1, are just 0.6s behind provisional leader Mikko Hirvonen, while Dani Sordo and Marc Marti, who led at the end of SS3, are five seconds down.

The 2009 Rally Argentina kicked off on Thursday with the Cordoba Stadium super-special which saw Sťbastien Loeb and Daniel Elena claim the fastest time in front of packed grandstands.

The four-time winners of the South American round are running first on the road today: "Having to road-sweep was a handicap on this morningís first two stages. I drove a little differently on the next two tests, though, and we made a small modification to the differential setting, so itís difficult to say exactly what made the difference. Weíll see how it goes second time round. Being first on the road can often be an even bigger problem on the second pass on this event. That said, the rain which is beginning to move in over the region could well change the situation."

Dani Sordoís consistent morning harvested one fastest time. He is currently third after five stages: "We are going well and itís nice to be in the thick of a four-cornered fight for first place. Running third on the road has allowed us to benefit from reasonably clear lines, but we also had to contend with dust on the first two stages. I will try to push a little harder this afternoon, even though our objective is not to finish todayís leg on top."

The CitroŽn Junior Team is hoping to profit from the reliability of its C4 WRCs on this notoriously difficult event. Conrad Rautenbach/Daniel Barritt and Sťbastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia made a cautious start to the day.

"The first two stages went well," observed Conrad who is in ninth place. "There was lots of dust, but we managed to keep up a good pace. The CitroŽn C4 WRC is a very strong car and the set-up we have here is perfect. I lost a bit of time towards the end of SS4 when I thought we had punctured. We will try to push hard this afternoon to close the gap with Federico Villagra."

Sťbastien Ogier checked in at the lunchtime service halt in 10th position: "We werenít very quick this morning. Maybe we were too cautious over the rougher parts. We will talk with the team to see if there is anything we can do to improve our speed without taking more risks than we have been doing. The main thing is obviously to finish this rally without making any mistakes."

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