Only weather can stop Tanak now, says Meeke

The only thing that can beat runaway Rally Argentina leader Ott Tanak is the weather according to the Toyota driver’s nearest rival Kris Meeke.

Only weather can stop Tanak now, says Meeke
Ott Tanak, Martin Järveoja, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Ott Tanak, Martin Järveoja, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Ott Tanak, Martin Järveoja, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport Ford
Ott Tanak, Martin Järveoja, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Elfyn Evans, Daniel Barritt, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport Ford
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team

Tanak won all but one of Friday’s gravel stages, only losing the opener after clobbering a rock and damaging the steering on his Yaris WRC.

Former Rally Argentina winner Meeke, who is 22.7s behind Tanak, said: “It’s been impossible to follow Ott today.

"I think the only thing that can make a difference is the weather tomorrow; if the rain comes and the fog comes down in places like Los Gigantes then that can make a hell of a difference.

"You could be looking at differences measured in minutes in some of the stages – we’ve seen it before.”

After a day of 30 degrees and bright sunshine, Villa Carlos Paz is bracing itself for storms coming in in time for the weekend.

Saturday’s stages take the crews west of the service park and up into the mountains, where the rest of the field will give chase to the leading Estonian.

“It’s been a good day today,” Tanak told Motorsport.com. “It’s frustrating that we could have been further ahead without the problem on the first one this morning. These things shouldn’t happen, but we just have to get on with it.

“I wouldn’t say I was angry after the first one, I was just driving with a good feeling and that feeling has got better all day. I’m really starting to get comfortable in this car now.”

Ogier: We don't stand a chance

Tanak apparently locating the sweet spot aboard his Toyota is a cause for concern among his rivals, not least for defending world champion Sebastien Ogier.

M-Sport Ford’s Frenchman, who has won three of this year’s four rallies, admitted he was struggling to land a maiden South American success in the face of such pace.

“Ott is flying at the moment,” said Ogier from fifth, more than half a minute down. “I don’t think we stand a chance.”

Running in the southern hemisphere’s autumn, the weather at Rally Argentina is changeable and heavy rain and dense fog is a regular feature of the event.

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