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.
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.
|1||8|| Ott Tanak |
|Toyota Yaris WRC||1'58.6|
|2||1|| Sebastien Ogier |
|Citroen C3 WRC||2'00.2||1.6|
|3||5|| Kris Meeke |
|Toyota Yaris WRC||2'00.3||1.7|
|4||89|| Andreas Mikkelsen |
|Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||2'00.6||2.0|
|5||11|| Thierry Neuville |
|Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||2'00.7||2.1|
|6||10|| Jari-Matti Latvala |
|Toyota Yaris WRC||2'00.9||2.3|
|7||6|| Dani Sordo |
Carlos del Barrio
|Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||2'00.9||2.3|
|8||4|| Esapekka Lappi |
|Citroen C3 WRC||2'01.5||2.9|
|9||33|| Elfyn Evans |
|Ford Fiesta WRC||2'01.7||3.1|
|10||3|| Teemu Suninen |
|Ford Fiesta WRC||2'02.1||3.5|
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Argentina WRC: Meeke grabs early lead from Neuville