Two victories out of two possible so far this year and tied for the lead – Pontus Tidemand has had a stunning start to his WRC 2 season. Next up is Rally Argentina, the third event of the year, and despite making his debut here, Pontus aims to score maximum points and is up for the task.
“We’re in a good position with two wins in a row, but the fight will become tighter further into the season. There are no big gaps in the overall classification and it is soon time for the first of the three compulsory rallies, where I expect a huge battle. The target for this weekend is to strengthen our position ahead of that. It will be a real challenge, but we are ready to go for the victory” said Pontus, who is, as always, accompanied by Jonas Andersson in the co-driver’s seat.
The Swedish SKODA duo started their WRC 2 season with a victory at Rally Sweden and a month later they repeated the success at the Mexican WRC event – another rally that Pontus participated at for the first time. The top results give them equally as many points as their EVEN Management colleague Andreas Mikkelsen and the both crews are now in joint championship lead.
Rally Argentina comes with another unique challenge – gravel roads that cannot be compared to any of the other gravel roads in the WRC series. The rally base is located in Villa Carlos Paz, 700 kilometers north-west of Buenos Aires and a 30 minute route from Argentina’s second largest city Córdoba, and the area offers big contrasts in the landscape. After Thursday’s spectator stage in Córdoba, the rally continues on soft and sandy roads in the Santa Rosa de Calamunchita valley and eventually reaches the Traslasierra mountains with its rocky moonlike landscape and narrow roads. The contrasts require the drives to think fast and quickly adjust their driving style to the surface.
“To find the balance between speed and endurance will be a key factor” explained Pontus. “It is important to get the car to the finish in one piece, which isn’t the easiest thing on these roads when you constantly risk to hit something. Rocks are pulled up on the road and even the smoothest roads have rough sections. There is also a risk of fog and bad weather in the mountains and that makes perfect pacenotes crucial, especially since this is my first time here in Argentina, so we will do a thorough job with the reconnaissance.”
Rally Argentina takes place between Thursday and Sunday and includes 357,59 high speed kilometers, divided into 18 special stages.