It was the first time either thrfectly throughout the 28 high-speed and tough stages, which totalled 546 kilometres, and Makinen praised his Michelin tyres, which coped perfectly with stagess of more than 50 kilometres and temperatures that ranged from zero to 20 degrees Celsius.
"It feels great. This victory makes my life a lot easier, but it was not easy for sure. Some of the stages were really difficult and even on the very last stage, I had to swerve round a big stone," said an overjoyed Makinen.
Richard Burns took fourth on his first visit to Argentina, taking the chance to gain further experience of the Lancer Evolution lll in hiier now. I was under pressure to get more miles in the car and I'm very pleased with the way it's performed," said Burns, who felt unwell throughout the rally and was unable to drive to his full potential.
"It's a brilliant result. We knew it was going to be difficult, but when I spoke to Tommi after the recce and he said it suited his style, I was happy," said Team Ralliart Director Andrew Cowan. "It proves what a good car the Lancer Evolution lll is. It's a credit to the boys who build it. You've got to look at its complete reliability. There isn't a nut or a washer out of place.
"I'm delighted with Richard. He's driven very professionally and he's done exactly what we wanted. Any pressure d and Australia and enjoy himself," Cowan added.
Like the Team Mitsubishi Ralliart drivers, promising German Uwe Nitel had never competed in South America before, yet he took a commanding lead in the Group N class on the first day of the tough, 1,311-kilometre rally and led a Mitsubishi clean sweep in his Ralliart Germany-prepared Lancer Evolution lll. The similar cars of Uruguay's Gustavo Trelles and Argentina's Daniel Preto were second and third.
Makinen and Burns will be in action once more for Team Mitsubishi Ralliart on the next round of the Asia-Pacific Championship, the Rally of New Zealand, which starts on July 27.
|FIN/FIN||MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION III||5.32.14|
|2.C. Sainz/L. Moya||E/E||FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH||+ 1.35|
|3.K. Eriksson/S. Parmander||S/S||SUBARU IMPREZA 555||+ 4.39|
|GB/GB||MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION III||+ 8.01|
|5.B.Thiry/S.Prevot||B/B||FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH||+ 8.25|
|6.G.Pianezzola/L.Roggia||I/I||TOYOTA CELICA GT FOUR||+ 14.17|
|7.P.Liatti/F.Ponz||I/I||SUBARU IMPREZA 555||+ 15.21|
|8.R.Madeira/N.Da Silva||P/P||TOYOTA CELICA GT FOUR||+ 16.27|
|9.P.Bernardini/C.Francois||F/F||FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH||+ 20.38|
|10.U.Nittel/T.Thorner||D/S||MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION III||+ 25.44(1st Group N)|