Just 32km separate Citroen’s Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle from their first victory in the FIA World Rally Championship after completing Day 3 of the XION Rally Argentina with a lead of 38.6 seconds over his teammate Mads Ostberg.
The day started dramatically for the Northern Irishman as he got caught in a dust cloud and suffered a spin which resulted in time loss. Meeke finished the first stage of the day eight fastest and lost roughly 15 seconds. Meeke lost a further 21 seconds on the next stage as he continued to drive cautiously.
After stage nine was cancelled after an accident involving Hayden Paddon, Meeke went third fastest on the final stage of the day to increase his lead to 38.6 seconds heading into the overnight halt.
‘I’m really happy.” said the Northern Irishman, “It’s unfortunate that they had to cancel SS9 for reasons that aren’t nice, but my own driving today has been fine. I had a small fright near the end of the last stage; I got an alarm from a sensor and I panicked a bit; I didn’t know what to do. I had to switch the car off, then back on and go again.
“I’ve been really trying to focus on my own rally throughout this event and that won’t change tomorrow. There are 32km of stages tomorrow; that’ll be a nice Sunday drive for me!’
In WRC2 Abulaziz Al-Kuwari had a cautious day protecting his lead . At the end of the leg he lead Diego Dominguez by almost three minutes.