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Argentina WRC: Meeke grabs early lead from Neuville

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Argentina WRC: Meeke grabs early lead from Neuville
By:
Apr 26, 2019, 3:57 PM

Kris Meeke moved into the lead of Rally Argentina with an early stage win aboard his Toyota Yaris WRC, ahead of Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville.

Meeke’s teammate Ott Tanak had been overnight leader after his win on the Villa Carlos Paz superspecial on Friday, initially retaining that lead by going second fastest behind Meeke on SS2.

But a relatively poor time on the next stage by Tanak, in which he was 10.2s slower than stage winner Neuville, dropped him down to second place.

That became third when Neuville and Citroen’s Sebastien Ogier tied for second-fastest time on the Parque Tematico superspecial, with Ogier tying with Tanak for third overall.

Neuville’s pair of stage wins puts him 5.4s adrift of the lead despite struggling as first car on the road for the day's opening test, in which he dropped 14.1s relative to Meeke.

Despite only setting a single top-five stage time this morning Jari-Matti Latvala is fifth overall, 8.8s behind Toyota teammate Meeke.

Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai), who won the Parque Tematico superspecial by 1.8s from Neuville and Ogier, is 11.7s off the lead in sixth, after a puncture cost him 16.7s relative to Meeke.

Hyundai’s third car, driven by Dani Sordo, lies seventh, ahead of the lead M-Sport Ford of Elfyn Evans, Esapekka Lappi's Toyota and Evans’ teammate Teemu Suninen.

The morning loop had been shortened due to the cancellation of SS3 - the longest stage of the loop, the 29.85km Amboy-Yacanto test.

Heavy rain in the day leading up to the rally damaged the liaison section leading up to and exiting the stage. However, organisers have confirmed it will run this afternoon as SS7.

Standings after SS5:

Pos. Driver Car Gap
1. GBR Kris Meeke Toyota 30:20.1
2. BEL Thierry Neuville

Hyundai

+5.4
3. EST Ott Tanak Toyota +6.6
4. FRA Sebastien Ogier Citroen +6.6
5. FIN Jari-Matti Latvala Toyota +8.8
6. NOR Andreas Mikkelsen Hyundai +11.7
7. ESP Dani Sordo Hyundai +13.8
8. GBR Elfyn Evans Ford +14.8
9. FIN Esapekka Lappi Toyota +25.8
10. FIN Teemu Suninen Ford +44.0
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Argentina WRC: Neuville takes lead after Tanak spin

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About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Argentina
Drivers Kris Meeke , Thierry Neuville
Author Alasdair Lindsay