The fifth round of the FIA World Rally ChampionshipW takes the contenders to South America for an event characterised by its stunning landscapes, and its passionate and enthusiastic fans who take the opportunity to enjoy a week-long fiesta. Rally ArgentinaW is a classic on the calendar and this year stands out as having one of the longest routes and some of most testing stages in the entire Championship.
The event continues to run to a three day format, but opens on Thursday night with a 6.04 kilometre super special stage in the host town of Villa Carlos Paz. After this the action becomes intense; no fewer than seven of the 19 stages exceed 37 competitive kilometres and Rally Argentina boasts the longest stage in the Championship at 65.74 kilometres. This will provide a stern wake-up call for the crews as the first stage on the final day.
This year the organiser has been able to draw on some of the best stages the event has ever run, including the historic crossing over Pan de Azucar Hill – the 37.51 La Pampa/La Pampa stage that has not been used since 1994 – and the new route over the Los Gigantes mountain range that covers a massive 65.74 competitive kilometres (Matadero/Ambul). This stage brings together four sections of road unused since 1996. The rest of the stages are a classic mix, all of which are sure to provide great action.
The FIA Production Car World Rally Championship contenders are back in action in Rally Argentina too and 11 of the 12 registered competitors will be vying for honours in the third round of this series.
CHANGES TO THE ROUTE SINCE 2011
There has been just one completely new stage introduced for 2012, the 39.74 kilometre Intiyaco – Golpe de Agua section (SS9/12), while three other stages (SS3/5, SS7/10 and SS14) have modifications. All other stages remain unchanged although some have not been run for a number of years.