Ott Tänak (Toyota Yaris WRC) has been overwhelming on the first stage of the YPF Rally Argentina 2018 and, after winning five out of seven special stages from Friday, he is leading the overall with 22.7 seconds ahead Kris Meeke (Citroën C3 WRC), while Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), is on the third position, 28.6 away from the lead. Tomorrow, the competition will take place in Valle de Punilla and Los Gigantes.
Ott Tänak is convinced that this year he can be the main driver of the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT and he has been showing it in almost every rally of this season with solid performances, that allow him to be the best driver of the Japanese team on this competition, after the first four rounds of a season in which he has already got two podiums.
The Estonian driver wants to achieve in Argentina, host of the fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship, his first victory of the year and this Friday he took a relevant step to accomplish his objective. Even though he spinned on the first special stage, he could recover and ended the day with a good advantage over the other drivers.
“On the first stage, it was a big shame, I didn’t expect to do anything like this . I have no idea what happend. Actually, I hit at something but there was nothing, and we spinned and then the narrow road, we lost time and it took us a while to get the right direction, but we managed to get back on pace. So we kept pushing, the competition is tough, you get anything for nothing, so you really have to push it. The conditions were really rough, but I was trying my best. I feel quite confident about tomorrow. We have quite fast stages as well. I really hope to do well. I’m very confident, so I’m definitely looking forward for it”, said Tänak at the end of the day
The first loop of the stage finished with the first five cars enclosed within ten seconds, but after Tänak could widen the gap, the fight for the second place, that encloses three drivers within less than seven seconds, caught the attention of everyone. Meeke is now at that position, but he is only 5.9 seconds ahead Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), who is only 0.9 ahead Daniel Sordo (Hyundai i20 WRC).
Further behind, Sébastien Ogier (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), 36.4 away from the lead, gave in some ground because of opening the stage, while Craig Breen (Citroën C3 WRC) is on the sixth position and Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai i20 WRC), who leaded on one of the morning stages, finished the day on the seventh place after a puncture.
WRC2: Tidemand wins the fight against Rovanpera.
Pontus Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5) finished the first stage leading the overall classification of the WRC2 with an advantage of 20.2 seconds over Kalle Rovanperä (Skoda Fabia R5). The Swedish driver successfully put up with the Finn driver’s attack, that gave in some ground in the first special stage of the day, but then he narrowed the gap. The British driver, Gus Greensmith (Ford Fiesta R5), is on the third place, 1:27.0 away from the leading position.
Flat out and no possible mistakes at the second stage.
Tomorrow, the competition will go through Valle de Punilla and Los Gigantes. It will start early in the morning at the Service Park in Villa Carlos Paz and then the cars will leave to begin the first stage of the day, Tanti-Mataderos I (13,92km), which will start at 8:23 a.m. Then, at 9:08 a.m., the Gigantes-Cuchilla Nevada I (16,02km) stage will begin and, finally, Cuchilla Nevada-Río Pintos I (40,48 km), the longest stage of the weekend will take place at 9 :35 a.m.
The first loop of the stage will finish with the second pass along the Super Special Fernet Branca (6,02km) at the Theme Park in Villa Carlos Paz.
In the afternoon, the competition will go along the first three stages of the day again at 1:23 p.m., 2 :08 p.m. and 2 :35 p.m. respectively.