After the many twists and turns of Corsica, the World Rally Championship heads back to Latin America for another dose of gravel action on Rally Argentina, where championship leader Sébastien Ogier will chase a hat-trick of victories to continue his stunning start to the season. Joining Red Bull TV as a guest reporter for the weekend is a local sporting superstar: former tennis ace David Nalbandian, who has since turned his hand to rallying.
Rally Argentina: A comprehensive gravel test
Based in Cordoba province, Rally Argentina features a challenging mixture of gravel roads, from the fast, soft and sandy roads in the Santa Rosa de Calamuchita Valley to the rocky, narrow tracks high up in the Traslasierra mountains.
— WRC (@OfficialWRC) April 18, 2018
The service park is located in the lakeside resort of Villa Carlos Paz. There the rally will begin with a super special on Thursday evening. Softer valley stages make up Friday and Saturday’s action, with spectacular water splashes a frequent feature.
The action finishes up in the mountains on Sunday. The Power Stage takes place over the famous El Condor test, named for the birds that fly overhead. Huge crowds, big rocks and the risk of fog or even ice makes for a spectacular and demanding conclusion.
Sébastien Ogier has been unstoppable so far this season, winning three of the four events so far for M-Sport. Thierry Neuville won in Argentina 12 months ago. He will be looking to bounce back with the Hyundai team after a disappointing time in Corsica. But watch out too for Ott Tanak, who has won more stages than anybody else so far in 2018.
Fresh from the stages, Nalbandian serves up his insider take
Former world number three tennis player David Nalbandian knows a thing or two about rallies and not just those with a ball. Since hanging up his racquet at the end of 2013, he has become a regular rally driver in his homeland. And he will actually be taking part in the national event on Rally Argentina. Somehow, he’s going to find time to appear on Red Bull TV too.
Hailing from the Cordoba region, Nalbandian will join Red Bull TV to offer his insider’s view on the varied demands of the event. As runner-up at Wimbledon in 2002, he also knows what it takes to compete at the highest level of the elite sport. Just like Ogier and co.
- 18 competitive special stages run over a distance of 360km
- Action gets underway on Thursday evening with the Villa Carlos Paz Super Special held close to the Service Park
- Friday is the longest individual day at 154km of stages, although Saturday is a close second at 149km
- Itinerary takes in soft roads in the Santa Rosa de Calamuchita valley, as well as narrower rocky tracks in the Traslasierra mountains
- Sandy gravel roads become rutted on the second pass making life tough for crews and cars
- Sunday is often seen as the highlight of the rally with the El Condor and Mina Clavero stages, run in the reverse direction for this year’s event, offering a thrilling finale.