Meeke leads Citroen one-two as VW’s challenge collapses

Citroen’s Kris Meeke took control of Rally Argentina as his Volkswagen-mounted rivals fell by the wayside on the opening day.

Meeke leads Citroen one-two as VW’s challenge collapses
Kris Meekeand Paul Nagle, Citroën Ds3 Wrc, Citroën World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
 Mads Ostberg And Jonas Andersson, Citroën Ds3 Wrc, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke Citroën World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, Volkswagen Motorsport Polo WRC
Ott Tanak And Raigo Molder, Ford Fiesta Rs Wrc, M-Sport World Rally Team
Dani Sordo And Marc Marti, Hyundai I20Wrc, Hyundai Motorsport
Hayden Paddon And John Kennard, Hyundai I20Wrc, Hyundai Motorsport N

Meeke leads the rally by 1m08.4s, ahead of teammate Mads Ostberg, after the first day of punishing gravel stages. All three of VW’s challengers hit trouble.

Overnight leader Sebastien Ogier was the first to falter, being forced out on the opening stage of the day with an engine problem that caused him to stop 5km before the finish. The two-time world champion will rejoin tomorrow under Rally2 regulations, but has no chance of claiming his first win in Argentina.

Then his teammate Andreas Mikkelsen suffered a puncture when he spun in SS3, and as he tried to drag his damaged car through the stage – being hit by Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville in the process – his suspension damper also cried enough, shooting through his bonnet to force him out.

Jari Matti Latvala, in the third VW, got within 15.3s of the rally lead after SS3, as Meeke suffered a puncture. But Meeke beat him on the following test, and then Latvala hit transmission woes on the final proper stage.

Latvala was forced to cruise through the superspecial, as Meeke monstered it and beat him by over 33s in their head-to-head run. 

The current order

Meeke’s teammate Ostberg runs second, despite encountering engine problems this morning. The delayed Latvala is third, 15s behind Ostberg.

Like VW, Hyundai suffered a challenging day. Dani Sordo is running fourth, despite losing his power steering for two stages. He set the fastest time in the day-closing superspecial.

M-Sport lost one Fiesta when Ott Tanak broke his suspension in a watersplash, but Elfyn Evans survived the day intact to run fifth, just 5.5s behind Sordo.

Hyundai's Neuville lost time with a puncture, and caught fire after the superspecial in Merlo, and so is way back in seventh. Hayden Paddon suffered a litany of problems, including a terminal exhaust issue that forced his Hyundai to retire.

shares
comments
Meeke clings to Rally Argentina lead, as Latvala threatens

Previous article

Meeke clings to Rally Argentina lead, as Latvala threatens

Next article

Meeke leads for Citroen but Ostberg closes in Argentina

Meeke leads for Citroen but Ostberg closes in Argentina
Load comments
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021