FIA World Rally Championship

2019 Rally Argentina: Neuville Extends Lead After Tänak Hits Problems

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Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

Thierry Neuville leads a Hyundai one-two at the top of the Rally Argentina standings after after late drama for Toyota’s Ott Tänak on the final stage on Saturday.

Championship leader Neville had been battling with Tanak throughout the day, but the Estonian pulled off on the final stage of Saturday with a yet undiagnosed problem on his Yaris WRC.

This gave the Belgian a relatively comfortable 45.7 seconds lead over teammate and stage 14 winner Andreas Mikkelsen at the end of day three as he closes in on his second WRC win in a row after victory last time out on the Tour de Corse.

Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

The drama on Saturday started early as defending champion Sebastien Ogier hit a gatepost on stage 11, with the Citroen driver claiming that the line the drivers were forced to take was different to what had been the case in the recce earlier in the week; The French manufacturer have asked the rally organisers to check the onboard footage of it’s rivals to see if they took the same route around the gate as Ogier.

However, a strong string of times including two stage wins on Saturday afternoon have helped him recover to fourth overall, just 2.8 seconds behind Kris Meeke in the now highest placed Toyota. Dani Sordo survived a high-speed scare late on Saturday to sit fifth going into Sunday’s remaining three stages.

Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

Jari-Matti Latvala lies sixth overall in Argentina after complaining of an engine misfire but is just 16.3 seconds behind Sordo while the sole remaining M-Sport Ford of Teemu Suninen is seventh. Teammate Elfyn Evans retired from the event on stage 10 with the Welshman rolling his Ford Fiesta WRC after hitting a large rock.

Mads Østberg leads WRC2 PRO in the Citroen C3 R5 after Saturday’s action and is eighth overall, with Tänak down in ninth – if he returns under Super Rally rules tomorrow. Pedro Heller completes the top 10 overall and is the highest placed WRC2 entry.

Sunday’s remaining three stages total 53.16km and includes the rally ending Wolf Power Stage.

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