Sebastien Ogier has been left with a comfortable lead at the end of day two of Rally Argentina, after previous leader Jari-Matti Latvala and the pursuing Petter Solberg both hit technical problems during the afternoon's stages.
Ford driver Latvala began the day with an 18.2 second lead over Solberg, with Ogier 28.8s off the lead. Ogier started the day well though for Citroen, winning SS8 and taking second place from Solberg. He then reduced Latvala's lead to 14.3s after SS10, though Latvala was able to increase the gap to 17.8s on the final stage before midday service.
Ogier won SS12 to trim the gap to 10.6s, before Latvala broke a compression strut on his Fiesta towards the end of SS13. He made it to end of the stage, but lost 21.8s to stage winner Ogier who took the rally lead. Latvala attempted to fix the problem before the next stage, but was ordered by his team to stop during SS14 and retire from the day.
Solberg moved up to second place and was 21.1 seconds behind Ogier after SS14. However, the Norwegian privateer suffered a power steering failure on the final stage of the day that caused him to lose over a minute and drop him to fourth overall.
Ogier's lead now stands at 43.7 seconds over Mikko Hirvonen, who has Sebastien Loeb just four seconds behind him. The Frenchman won five of the day's eight stages as he recovers from a one minute time penalty received on Friday for checking in early to service.
Behind fourth-placed Solberg, fellow Norwegian Mads Ostberg is fifth, while Federico Villagra has moved ahead of Matthew Wilson in the battle of the customer Fiestas. Ken Block was behind the trio in his Monster Fiesta when a driveshaft failure hit on SS11.
The gap to the Production frontrunners is large enough that Latvala would resume in eighth place tomorrow if he restarts, 12 minutes down on the leader. Hayden Paddon leads the PWRC class, 27 minutes off the lead. Eight minutes behind him is Patrik Flodin who led the category until retiring before the final stage on Friday, while Michal Kosciuszko is just 20 seconds behind the Swede after also failing to make it through Friday's final stage.
Top ten positions after SS15:
|1.||2||Sebastien Ogier||Citroen Total||Citroen DS3 WRC||3:20:05.8|
|2.||3||Mikko Hirvonen||Ford Abu Dhabi||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+43.7|
|3.||1||Sebastien Loeb||Citroen Total||Citroen DS3 WRC||+47.7|
|4.||11||Petter Solberg||PSWRT||Citroen DS3 WRC||+1:16.1|
|5.||6||Mads Ostberg||M-Sport Stobart||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+4:55.9|
|6.||7||Federico Villagra||Munchi's||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+5:52.9|
|7.||5||Matthew Wilson||M-Sport Stobart||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+7:00.3|
|8.||4||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Abu Dhabi||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+12:12.6*|
|9.||38||Hayden Paddon||New Zealand WRT||Subaru Impreza||+21:58.3|
|10.||21||Patrik Flodin||Uspenskiy||Subaru Impreza||+29:58.3|
* Pending re-start under superally rules