The Argentina Rally saw the return of the Martini Lancia
team after missing out the previous round in New Zealand.
Two of the all-conquering Delta Integrale cars were used,
one for championship leader Miki Biasion, the other for local hero Jorge
Recaldo who so nearly won the rally in 1987.
A third Integrale was driven by ’87 New Zealand Rally winner
The first of the 29 stages was a stadium-style Superprime
with artificial chicanes and wooden jumps!
After this the rally proper got underway and, from the
start, battle was waged by both of the Lancia team men. Biasion, with his eye
on the drivers’ championship, and Recalde, with the help of local knowledge,
attempting to finish the job he started the previous year.
Wittmann, already in trouble, having to replace the oil
cooler knocked off on the first stage, then hit some stones said to have been
placed in the road.
Suggestions of local
sabotage were flying around, but Wittmann was able to repair the damaged
suspension and continue.
The best of the Argentine drivers, Recalde apart, were
struggling to keep up with the pace of Chilean Jose Celsi driving a Subaru RX
The superb countryside mirrored the efforts of the World’s
finest rally drivers as they battled through the heat and dust in a classic
South American encounter.