Argentina WRC: Tanak doubles lead on Saturday morning

Toyota's Ott Tanak took a step closer to his first win of the season after extending his lead over Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville on Rally Argentina’s Saturday morning loop.

Argentina WRC: Tanak doubles lead on Saturday morning
Ott Tanak, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Ott Tanak, Martin Järveoja, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Andreas Mikkelsen, Hyundai Motorsport, Thierry Neuville
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team

Tanak extended his streak of stage wins on a foggy loop to six in a row as no one had the pace to live with him aboard his Yaris WRC.

For most of the loop, Neuville trailed Citroen’s Kris Meeke until the penultimate stage, where the Belgian jumped ahead for second.

Meeke described that test, Chuchilla Nevada - Rio Pintos, as “one of the most difficult you could do in a rally car”, mainly down to the fog where visibility was as low as 20 metres in places.

Neuville’s only issue was a pacenote mix-up 750 metres from the end of SS10, but he still went second quickest on that test.

He also beat Meeke on the super special SS12, which ended the morning loop, to hold a gap of 10.1s ahead of the Northern Irishman.

Dani Sordo continued a consistent drive to hold fourth for Hyundai, and lies within 20s of Meeke.

Sebastien Ogier is fifth, in a steady drive for the five-time WRC champion, who was 54s slower than Tanak on the penultimate stage of the loop but didn’t report any issues.

After going slower than Sordo on the loop-ending super special, Ogier trails the Spaniard by 41.4s.

Craig Breen, Meeke’s Citroen teammate, had held sixth but on SS11 he crashed heavily and dropped to 14th.

Hyundai’s Andreas Mikkelsen replaced Breen in sixth, and holds a gap of 7.7s ahead of M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans.

Esapekka Lappi crashed on SS11 after a pacenote mistake and holds ninth, falling half a minute behind Evans, but ahead of third M-Sport driver Teemu Suninen.

After an incredible stage time on SS11, 17-year-old Kalle Rovanpera took the WRC2 category lead from reigning champion and Skoda teammate Pontus Tidemand.

Rovanpera’s time was 28.7s quicker than Tidemand in that test, and after the super special he leads the class for R5 machinery by 23.6s.

Standings after SS12:

Pos. Driver Car Time/Gap
1  Ott Tanak Toyota 2h17m.08.1s
2  Thierry Neuville Hyundai 42.2s
3  Kris Meeke Citroen 52.3s
4  Dani Sordo Hyundai 1m08.6s
5  Sebastien Ogier M-Sport Ford 1m50.0s
6  Andreas Mikkelsen Hyundai 1m57.6s
7  Elfyn Evans M-Sport Ford 2m05.3s
8  Esapekka Lappi Toyota 2m34.6s
9  Teemu Suninen M-Sport Ford 3m10.4s
10  Kalle Rovanpera Skoda 8m49.4s
shares
comments
Only weather can stop Tanak now, says Meeke
Previous article

Only weather can stop Tanak now, says Meeke

Next article

Argentina WRC: Tanak closes in on victory, Meeke in trouble

Argentina WRC: Tanak closes in on victory, Meeke in trouble
Load comments
How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off Prime

How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off

The new Rally1 hybrid cars made their competition debuts in Monte Carlo, but it was two semi-retired drivers who took centre stage in a thrilling battle between two of the World Rally Championship's most successful names. Here's how Sebastien Loeb completed a remarkable return on his M-Sport debut by beating reigning champion Sebastien Ogier

WRC
22 h
The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022 Prime

The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022

Eight-time World Rally Championship king Sebastien Ogier has abdicated (well, gone part-time) in 2022, meaning for just the second time in the past decade we will have a different champion this year. We pick out the drivers gunning to take his place and take over the mantle as the WRC's new ruler

WRC
Jan 20, 2022
The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival Prime

The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival

Part-time opportunities with Citroen and Hyundai have offered brief glimpses of what Craig Breen can do in a World Rally Championship car. Now signed up by M-Sport to lead it into the WRC's new hybrid era, Breen has been given the chance he's pursued for so long and is determined to make the most of it

WRC
Jan 18, 2022
Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best Prime

Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best

The World Rally Championship has brought down the curtain on the aggressive, aero-laden generation of cars first introduced in 2017 that have been likened to the 1980s Group B icons. As the championship prepares to begin a new era of Rally1 hybrid cars, its stars explain just why the outgoing machines were so special

WRC
Dec 24, 2021
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021

On the eve of a new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship, the 2021 season was a blockbuster fought out between Toyota's two top dogs, with a familiar figure eventually emerging on top after a final showdown at Monza. We pick out the 10 best performers from the top class and its supporting cast

WRC
Dec 21, 2021
Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour Prime

Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour

He’s shuffling into semi-rally-retirement, but Toyota star Sebastien Ogier was at the peak of his powers in the final season for the high downforce era-World Rally Championship cars. Despite Toyota's domination, there was still much to enjoy as the old master emerged atop a fierce title fight against teammate Elfyn Evans.

WRC
Dec 19, 2021
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021