Ken Block says he has achieved his goal of getting to the end of the opening day of Rally Argentina with his confidence rebuilt.
The Monster Ford driver has suffered a torrid start to the year and has not competed on a stage of the World Rally Championship for almost 14 weeks, after he crashed heavily and was unable to make the start of the Rally of Portugal. For Block, today was all about getting to the end of leg service.
"I'm really happy to be here," the American said. "It's mission accomplished for me. After so long out of the car, I just wanted to get in it and stay in it for the day, and I can't tell you how much I've missed being in there. It's been fantastic."
Block is running ninth at the end of day one.
"I want to build up some more pace tomorrow," he said. "But at the same time, I'm on for a points finish here and that's exactly what I need. It's tough now, I'm in no-man's land, a couple of minutes behind Federico [Villagra] and a way ahead of the next car, so there's not much of a fight around me. I'm going to pick up the pace, but do it in a smart way."
Block admitted the tough stages to the west of Villa Carlos Paz had taken their toll on him.
"My wrists are really aching tonight," he said. "I've never gripped the steering wheel so tight in my life! It was ripped out of my hands a couple of times in Mina Clavero; man, that stage was rough. These stages have been tough today, really tough, but it's been good.
"I'm looking forward to the faster roads tomorrow, I'll be happier there – and I'm looking forward to seeing more people as well. I can't believe how many people were out there today, it's insane."