Rd.4 Rally Argentina

  • Country : Argentina
  • Date : 23-26/4/2009
  • Road surface : gravel
  • Total distance : 1533.56km

EVENT REPORT

Two Suzukis on the podium of the Rally Argentina

Suzuki drivers Michal Kosciuszko and Aaron Burkart have finished first and second on the fourth round of the 2009 Junior World Rally Championship, both at the wheel of the title-winning Swift Super 1600. Only two Suzukis were entered on this notoriously rough and demanding event, and both cars have successfully made it to the finish.

The Suzuki drivers are now first and second in the Junior World Rally Championship, with Kosciuszko leading the series by four points from Burkart. In total, a Suzuki has won three of the four Junior World Rally Championship rounds held so far this year.

The next round of the Junior World Rally Championship is the Rally d’Italia-Sardegna in Italy from May 22-24, which is run entirely on gravel.

About the Rally Argentina:

Rally Argentina is one of the classic events of the World Rally Championship, making a rare appearance on the Junior World Rally Championship calendar. The surface consists of soft and sandy gravel roads, which can quickly turn to slippery mud in the event of bad weather. This year however conditions were warmer than expected. After an opening day of action around the rally’s host town, Villa Carlos Paz, day two saw the return of two of the event’s most famous stages, Giulio Cesare and El Condor. These stages, run through an almost lunar landscape, took the crews high up into the mountains of the Traslasierra region, with the thin air at high altitude starving the power of engines. This year’s Rally Argentina also featured an all-new spectator superspecial stage in Cordoba Stadium, which started and ended the rally. The event was based in Villa Carlos Paz, a well-known tourist resort beside a lake close to Cordoba, which is about one hour’s flight west of Buenos Aires. The action took in 23 special stages totalling 331.80 competitive kilometres.

Suzuki entries on Rally Argentina:

Two Suzukis took the ceremonial start of the Rally Argentina on Thursday night in Cordoba Stadium. Competing on this year’s event, there was a pair of Suzuki Swift Super 1600s for Aaron Burkart/Michael Kolbach (number 31) and Michal Kosciuszko/Maciek Szczepaniak (number 32).

Michal Kosciuszko
News from Michal Kosciuszko (PL)
  • Born 20 April 1985
  • Co-driver: Maciek Szczepaniak (PL)

Kosciuszko moved into a seven-minute lead of the Junior World Rally Championship category on the opening day of the Rally Argentina, but suffered heartbreak just five kilometres from the end of the final stage of the day when he too broke a steering arm. The Pole re-started on day two under the super rally system in second place. He kept up a brilliant pace, winning all the stages in the Junior World Rally Championship category apart from one. Following a setback for class leader Alessandro Bettega, Kosciuszko moved into the lead – which he kept to the end after a sensible drive on the final day of the event, to win his second rally in a row!

“On the first day, the roads were just too rough for the Junior cars to be driving at 100%. It was a shame to throw away such a big lead but there was nothing we could do. From day two onwards we had it all to do again but we were determined to close the gap and so we pushed as hard as we could without taking unacceptable risks. The car felt really good and we were delighted to take the lead again. Now we’ve won our second rally on the trot and we’re leading the championship, so it doesn’t get any better than this! ”

Aaron Burkart
News from Aaron Burkart (D)
  • Born 20 September 1982
  • Co-driver: Michael Kolbach (D)

Burkart – the winner of the JWRC opening round in Ireland this year – was soon up to second place on the opening day of the rally in a close fight with his team mate Kosciuszko, despite a puncture in the morning. Unfortunately on the penultimate stage he suffered a broken steering arm and was forced to rejoin day two in third place under the super rally system. A careful run on the second day – which included some of the most fearsome tests of the World Rally Championship – saw him move up to second, which he maintained to the end of the rally.

“The problem with the steering arm on the first day was unlucky: I don’t remember hitting one particular stone but there were plenty of impacts all the time. We tried to fix the problem by the side of the road but it was not possible, which was a shame as it was a good battle with Michal. The second day was more difficult as the road conditions meant that we had to be extremely careful. But we are very pleased with our second place, so a cautious approach to maintain our position was definitely worth it! I’d like to thank the team for another excellent job.”

2009 JWRC Rd.4 : Rally Argentina, final results
Pos. No. Driver Car Total Time Diff 1st
1 32 M. KOSCUISZKO Suzuki Swift Super 1600 4:42:28.8 0.0
2 31 A. BURKART Suzuki Swift Super 1600 4:44:08.7 +1:39.9
3 39 A. BETTEGA Renault Clio R3 4:50:02.0 +7:33.2
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