Since its debut season as a works team in the WRC in 2003, Citroën Racing has enjoyed a nine-year winning run at Rally Argentina. After its first win in 2004 with Carlos Sainz, and then with Sébastien Loeb, Citroën's Xsara WRCs, C4 WRCs and DS3 WRCs have never been beaten on the roads around Carlos Paz.
A popular event for many of the crews, Rally Argentina is one of the most comprehensive tests on the World Championship calendar. During the three days of racing, the WRC drivers have to deal with some very specific conditions.
For his fourth appearance at Rally Argentina, Mads Østberg is looking forward to enjoying the event's famous atmosphere: "Argentine is in the top 5 of my favourite rallies. The fans and their passionate support create a real party atmosphere. And some of the stages are very beautiful."
Having finished on the podium twice this year, in Sweden and more recently in Portugal, the Norwegian is hoping to keep improving: "Our preparation has been perfect. Since the final day of Rally Mexico, the development has been very positive. Testing enabled me to confirm the progress we have made. I am working on my driving style in to order to be more competitive in the Citroën DS3 WRC. We have managed to achieve some good results with the engineers. It's a long process which isn't going to work overnight but the pace at which we are improving already is very promising!"
Third in the Drivers' World Championship standings, Mads Østberg claimed a podium finish at Rally Argentina in 2012: "The goal is the same this year. This event is as tough as ever. We'll need to be consistent. I can't wait to drive the stages on Saturday's leg. They are quick with a lot of rhythm. On Sunday, we have to tackle Mina Clavero downhill. When you drive it uphill, it's complicated enough, so that promises to be provide one hell of a challenge at the end of the rally! The aim is to come away with a good result. Depending on the conditions, we'll see if we can push a bit more…"
Unlike Sweden, Mexico and Portugal, Kris Meeke has a little experience of Rally Argentina. He has never made the trip to Carlos Paz, however, to compete in World Rally Championship event.
"I competed at this rally as part of the IRC calendar in 2010," reported Kris. "The stages weren't all the same but I have a good idea of what the roads are like here. I'll be a little bit less in the dark than in the previous rounds."
Having finished on the podium at the opening round of the season, the British crew will be looking to open their account on gravel: "We have to finish a rally without making any mistakes. Whatever happens, regardless of the conditions, we must bring the car home. Since the start of the season, we have had good pace. We just need to cut out the mistakes. And first and foremost, that means making good notes during recce."
Rally Argentina begins on Thursday night with a ceremonial start and super special stage in Carlos Paz and will finish on Sunday.