Ott Tanak will carry a 46.5 second lead into the final day of Rally Argentina as he closes in on his first win for his new Toyota team,as Kris Meeke was delayed with a puncture
Tanak had a couple of minor scares on the long Cuchilla Nevada stage where he was fourth quickest, briefly losing the power steering on his Yaris WRC and he had also shed oil from one of the Yaris dampers. Nevertheless he still held onto a very comfortable lead ahead of the rest of the battle for the podium, which saw Meeke drop back from second to eighth thanks to an unfortunate puncture.
Meeke struck a rock on the days final stage , meaning he had to stop and change the tyre which allowed Hyundai’s Dani Sordo to jump ahead of him and take third spot behind teammate Thierry Neuville, who is in a safe second place and looking to claw some points back on championship leader Sebastien Ogier. Ogier himself kept his nose clean and benefited from Meeke’s misfortune by moving up to fourth in the overall classification, but he is keeping an eye behind as Andreas Mikklesen in the third Hyundai is within striking distance behind him. Mikklesen’s rally of course compromised after a puncture on Friday, ending his chances of fighting for the rally win.
Esapekka Lappi was recovering well from his morning issues and managed to make up a place on Elfyn Evans, the Toyota man now in sixth position with Evans dropping down to seventh. Evans has been off colour all event but found some solid pace during the closing stages of the day and has a healthy margin over Meeke behind and Teemu Suninen in ninth. Meeke’s misfortune capped a disappointing day for the Citroen team, with Craig Breen having to retire from the rally. The damage sustained during his morning shunt much more severe than first thought with the roll cage damage, so Breen’s solid run was sadly cut short.