Werner keeps the pressure on
IN THE MIDST OF VERY TORRID conditions at the foot of the Andes, Mariano Werner kept his and Peugeot’s championship hopes alive with a dominant victory.
Current points leader Facundo Ardusso claimed pole and placed third in Saturday’s qualifying race in his Renault, behind Damian Fineschi (Ford Focus) and Werner.
Werner forced his way past Fineschi into the lead during the opening lap of the final, with Ardusso further demoting Fineschi to third only metres later. From then on, Ardusso sought a way past Werner (except for two safety car periods), but had to finally content himself with the runner-up spot. Werner nearly overcooked things while braking for the final hairpin, but just managed to cross the line victorious.
Matias Munoz Marchesi (Peugeot 408) lay fourth initially, but was relegated to fifth by Renault’s Leonel Pernia. Ten laps from the finish, Pernia also clambered past Fineschi to complete the podium.
Munoz Marchesi was fifth, while Matias Rossi (Toyota Corolla), Esteban Guerrieri (Citroen C4) and reigning champion Agustin Canapino (Chevrolet Cruze) battled for sixth during most of the race.
With two rounds remaining, Ardusso still leads the standings, by 19 points from Werner.
1 Mariano Werner (Peugeot 408) 38 laps in 51m39.163s; 2 Facundo Ardusso (Renault Fluence) +0.403s; 3 Leonel Pernia (Renault); 4 Damian Fineschi (Ford Focus); 5 Matias Munoz Marchesi (Peugeot); 6 Matias Rossi (Toyota Corolla). Points
1 Ardusso 174; 2 Werner 155; 3 Pernia 139; 4 Emiliano Spataro 132.5; 5 Bernardo Llaver 127.5; 6 Agustin Canapino 126.
Werner soaked up all Ardusso threw at him