2019 Rally Argentina: Neuville Extends Championship Lead With Second Win of Season

by Steven Batey

Thierry Neuville led home a Hyundai one-two on the final day of Rally Argentina, and he extended his championship lead as a result.

Neuville, who also set the third fastest time on the Wolf Power Stage earning him three bonus points, finished ahead of teammate Andreas Mikkelsen by 48.4 seconds to secure his second Argentina victory in three years and his second successive win in 2019.

A delighted Neuville said on the win: “I can’t ask for more today after getting my second win in this classic event and second in a row this season. The car has been great all weekend long. That is due to a big team effort done not only on-site, but also in Germany.”

“The progress of the car is seen, so I am proud of what are reaching. This makes us happy for the coming events, despite knowing that there will be some tough ones when we return to Europe. In the meantime, we all go to Chile which is a place to discover.”

Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

Behind, the returning Mikkelsen earned his best result for over a year, with the Norwegian seemingly proving to the Korean manufacturer that he still has the pace to compete at the top of the WRC.

Completing the podium in Argentina was defending champion Sébastien Ogier, who managed to leapfrog Kris Meeke on the Power Stage after the Toyota driver suffered a puncture late on the final stage.

Meeke had a very up and down day on Sunday after he was given a penalty on Saturday evening after being deemed to have gained an advantage on an earlier stage before fighting back on the opening pair of stages on Sunday before again dropping down the order, this time thanks to a puncture.

Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

Ogier grabbed third by just 1.4 seconds over Meeke, with the Frenchman also securing the Power Stage victory ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala who got the better of Dani Sordo, with the pair finishing fifth and sixth overall respectively.

Teemu Suninen in the sole remaining M-Sport Ford finished seventh at the end of the final day of action, with Ott Tänak recovering to eighth after his retirement from Saturday’s action. Mads Østberg secured the WRC2 PRO win in ninth, while Pedro Heller took the WRC2 win in tenth overall.

The next round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship is Rally Chile, which takes place between May 10-12.

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