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WRC Rally: Castrol-Ford fight hard in Argentina

04-03-2008 05:24 PM CET | Sports

Press release from: Castrol UK and Ireland

/ PR Agency: Dildizayn
Rally Argentina: Hirvonen

Rally Argentina: Hirvonen

Castrol Ford Abu Dhabi drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen both scored points to keep the team at the head of the table after overcoming cruel fortunes in Argentina. Sebastien Loeb snatched the series lead with a trouble free run to victory over Chris Atkinson.

The Finnish duo set fastest time on six of the eight muddy and fogged out stages of the opening day but unfortunately neither had a result worthy of this performance.

Latvala was the highest placed Focus driver after taking second spot on the opening stage before rolling on the next. "After about 1km I came to a flat left corner that tightened and I hit the bank,” he said. “That bounced the car across the road and I rolled.” The Finn lost nine minutes and dropped to 30th but won three stages later in the day to recover to eighth.

Hirvonen started spectacularly, winning the opening test by almost a minute, repeating the win on three more before lunch. However on the afternoon's opening test his luck ran out. "I hit a big rock with the wheel on full lock and broke the bolts in the track control arm. The rock was only exposed after the first pass through the stage so it's not something I would have had in my pace notes.”

Saturday therefore became a damage-limitation exercise. By lunchtime Hirvonen was back into the Manufacturers’ points and three fastest times in the afternoon saw him end the day in sixth place. “I was surprised to be able to climb so many places but the car just felt really good,” he said.

Latvala fell victim to a rock that had been exposed by previous cars and the Focus slammed down onto it, damaging the starter motor. At the next stage start the engine refused to fire and he had to retire for the day. Running for experience, Lavala won two of the final day’s three stages to finish 15th but still scored valuable team points while team mate Hirvonen gained a place to score in both the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ series.

The next event is Rally Jordan from April 24

Rally Argentina top six finishers

* Loeb / Elena (Citröen)
* Atkinson / Prevot (Subaru)
* Sordo / Marti (Citroen)
* Rautenbach / Senior (Citroen)
* Hirvonen / Lehtinen (Castrol Ford)
* Villagra / Companc (Munchi's Ford)

Team News: No change of tactics at Castrol Ford

Malcolm Wilson has stated that he has no plans to give Jari-Matti Latvala the lead role in the Castrol Ford team just yet. “Jari-Matti has been amazing so far,” said Wilson, “and Mikko will have to raise his game to stay ahead. But we know what Mikko can do and there are currently no plans to switch the drivers’ roles.” After Mexico Hirvonen led the series but Latvala had scored the team’s only win – in Sweden.

Race News: New dates for Japan and Wales

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has confirmed date changes for the final two rounds of the 2008 WRC. Rally Japan (now 31 October to 2 November) and Wales Rally GB (now 5-7 December) wanted to avoid clashes with other major sporting events in their cities. Rally Japan will now be able to make use of the 41,000 seat Sapporo Dome, while Wales Rally GB will be back at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

(http://www.castrol.com/castrol/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9014780&contentId=7027772)

For more information on the Castrol-sponsored Ford WRC team please visit the Racing and Sponsorship section of our homepage:

http://www.castrol.com/castrol/subsection.do?categoryId=9014774&contentId=7027798

For more information on Castrol's sponsorship activities related to sports please visit:

http://www.castrol.com/castrol/genericsection.do?categoryId=3208&contentId=7034605

http://www.castrolindex.com

Motor Oil and Lubricants Castrol UK and Ireland
Castrol UK Ltd, Wakefield House, Pipers Way, Swindon
SN3 1RE United Kingdom
http://www.castrol.co.uk
Press contact: Caroline Topping
Phone: +44 (1793) 452781
eMail: Caroline.topping@uk.bp.com

Castrol is the world's leading specialist provider of lubricant products. Most people know Castrol oil for vehicles such as car oil, engine oil and synthetic oil as well as motorcycle oil. But there's not just Castrol motor oil, we also produce lubricants for vehicles in transport and construction industries, such as heavy goods vehicles, buses and earth moving machinery. Castrol UK feature the brands EDGE, Magnatec, GTX, SLX Professional, Elixion, Enduron and Tection among others.

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