Argentina WRC: Tanak leads after opening superspecial

Ott Tanak took an early lead on Rally Argentina, winning the Villa Carlos Paz superspecial by 1.6 seconds from Sebastien Ogier.

Argentina WRC: Tanak leads after opening superspecial

Toyota’s main title contender followed up his fastest time in shakedown with the best time on the short 1.18-mile blast around the host city’s streets, which took place in damp conditions.

Tanak's teammate Kris Meeke also mirrored his shakedown performance by going third quickest, 0.1s off Citroen driver Ogier’s second-fastest time.

Hyundai duo Andreas Mikkelsen and Thierry Neuville completed the top five, with Neuville dropping 2.1s to title rival Tanak on the Villa Carlos Paz streets.

Jari-Matti Latvala suffered a bizarre moment only a few seconds into the stage, when a dog ran towards the path of his Toyota Yaris. Though the Finn was “a bit disturbed” by the stray animal, his time loss was minimal, ending up tied with Dani Sordo's Hyundai for sixth.

Behind eighth-placed Esapekka Lappi was M-Sport pairing Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen, who spun late on after taking an aggressive cut over the middle of a grassy roundabout.

Three-time European Rally champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz had been fifth fastest at the midway point despite driving a less powerful R5-specification Volkswagen Polo GTI, but spun at the same roundabout as Suninen, forcing the Pole into a three-point turn.

Instead it was Toyota protege Takamoto Katusta that was fastest of the WRC2 contingent, 0.3s off Suninen’s time and 0.8s ahead of WRC2 Pro leader Gus Greensmith.

SS1 results:

Pos. # Driver/Co-driver Car Total Time Gap
1 8 Estonia Ott Tanak 
Estonia Martin Jarveoja 
Toyota Yaris WRC 1'58.6  
2 1 France Sebastien Ogier 
France Julien Ingrassia 
Citroen C3 WRC 2'00.2 1.6
3 5 United Kingdom Kris Meeke 
United Kingdom Sebastian Marshall 
Toyota Yaris WRC 2'00.3 1.7
4 89 Norway Andreas Mikkelsen 
Norway Anders Jaeger 
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2'00.6 2.0
5 11 Belgium Thierry Neuville 
Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul 
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2'00.7 2.1
6 10 Finland Jari-Matti Latvala 
Finland Miikka Anttila 
Toyota Yaris WRC 2'00.9 2.3
7 6 Spain Dani Sordo 
Spain Carlos del Barrio 
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2'00.9 2.3
8 4 Finland Esapekka Lappi 
Finland Janne Ferm 
Citroen C3 WRC 2'01.5 2.9
9 33 United Kingdom Elfyn Evans 
United Kingdom Scott Martin 
Ford Fiesta WRC 2'01.7 3.1
10 3 Finland Teemu Suninen 
Finland Marko Salminen 
Ford Fiesta WRC 2'02.1 3.5
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