Meeke penalised for deviating from Argentina route

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Meeke penalised for deviating from Argentina route
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Toyota driver Kris Meeke has dropped behind rival Sebastien Ogier after being handed 10-second penalty for deviating from the Rally Argentina route on Saturday morning.

Meeke, Ott Tanak - who has now retired - and Mads Ostberg were the three drivers awarded the penalty after Citroen and M-Sport asked the event organisers to look at drivers' onboard videos following the SS11 deviation.

Meeke suffered more than the others, relinquishing his third place to Citroen driver Ogier.

The Northern Irishman starts the final day of Rally Argentina in fifth 7.2s behind the defending world champion and 1.2s behind the Hyundai of Dani Sordo.

Ogier had queried his rivals approach to the junction in the Cuchilla Nevada-Characato test after he was caught out by the split in the road.

The Citroen man hesitated before following the prescribed route. He hit the gate post in the junction, damaging his power steering.

The stewards decision stated: "On SS11 car number five did not follow the itinerary as shown in the road book, day two page 33 box 14.

"At that right hand corner, the road was divided in two lanes and the crew took the right lane instead of the left lane across the cattle grid as indicated in the road book."

That contravened Article 14.2 of the 2019 FIA WRC sporting regulations. The decision was a 10-second penalty.

Thierry Neuville leads the event into the final day for Hyundai, the current points' leader sitting 45.7s ahead of teammate Andreas Mikkelsen.

Standings after SS15:

Pos. Driver Car Time/Gap
1 BEL Thierry Neuville Hyundai 2:37:23.6
2 NOR Andreas Mikkelsen Hyundai +45.7
3 FRA Sebastien Ogier Citroen +1:06.0
4 ESP Dani Sordo Hyundai +1:12.0
5 GBR Kris Meeke Toyota +1:13.2
6 FIN Jari-Matti Latvala Toyota +1:28.3
7 FIN Teemu Suninen Ford +3:48.4
8 NOR Mads Ostberg Citroen +12:04.5
9 EST Ott Tanak Toyota +14:04.3
10 CHL Pedro Heller Ford +16:18.2
Argentina WRC: Neuville leads Hyundai 1-2, Tanak out

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About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Argentina
Drivers Kris Meeke
Teams Toyota Racing
Author David Evans