The organizers of Rally Argentina have been fined $5,000 for an irregularity in the road book for the event.
The stewards of the event received a protest from the Ford team in relation to a junction toward the end of the El Condor stage. The junction was a traffic roundabout. On the first run at the stage, the organizers had taped one exit of the roundabout forcing the crews to take the legal route around the roundabout. The organizers then removed the tape for the second pass of the stage.
The Citroen drivers took the shorter route while the Fords took the same route as before – at a cost reckoned to be around four seconds. Ford's Mikko Hirvonen ultimately lost the rally to Citroen's Sebastien Loeb by just 2.7sec.
The organizers were fined for not communicating a clear instruction under Article 2.1 of the sporting regulations.
Ford's Malcolm Wilson said: "We put this one into the clerk of the course on Saturday morning asking for clarification. We didn't get a satisfactory answer so we then put the request into the stewards to give us a clarification of the situation. We then decided to seek clarification from the stewards.
"The big thing is there's been an advantage gained by the ambiguity in the road book. And we wanted clarification for the future. Everybody knows the rallies have been [decided by] 0.2 of a second. Everybody is investing a lot of money in this championship and we want absolute clarification as to where we are on the regulations."
Wilson said he was happy with the outcome of the stewards' meeting, adding: "We're in this business to win but at the end of the day we want clarification going forward and that's the most important thing to point out.
"We made this request when we were actually leading the rally. It isn't a case we have lost out by two seconds and he gained whatever by taking this route. It's really positive in the sense that now anything that's discussed in the team managers' meeting – there's the evidence. They've been fined for not communicating transparently what was requested."