MEDIA RELEASE/New Zealand Rally Champs - Photos: Pitstopsam Media Six-time national champion Hayden Paddon has…
PRESS RELEASE/FIA.com WRC Argentina Photo: FIA Media
Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja won the legendary Rally Argentina today after a weekend-long display of dominance in which they won 10 of the event’s 18 stages. The Estonians were able to manage their pace over the closing three stages to take their first victory with Toyota by 37.7 seconds. Last year’s winners Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul were second and team-mates Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio made it a double podium celebration for Hyundai with third.
In the FIA World Rally Championship, Neuville has managed to close the gap to Championship leader Ogier to 10 points with Tänak 18 points further adrift in the standings. Hyundai’s double podium also sees the Korean manufacturer extend its advantage over M-Sport Ford to 15 points. Toyota is third with Citroen trailing in fourth.
In the second run of El Cóndor, counting towards all-important Power Stage points, Tänak was able to control the pace and points for fourth fastest added to his Championship haul. Neuville was flat-out however and the Belgian set fastest time to add five points to his tally, his objective always to be ahead of Ogier. Sordo was happy with his Rally Argentina outing and the Spaniard finished well ahead of Ogier in the overall classification.
Ogier and Mikkelsen went into the stage fighting for fourth but the reigning FIA World Rally Champion managed to hold onto his position by just four seconds at the end of the event. Both Elfyn Evans and Kris Meeke moved up the standings into sixth and seventh respectively after Lappi dropped time with a puncture this morning. He finished eighth on his debut outing in Argentina, the Finn lamenting a huge amount of bad luck in Argentina. Teemu Suninen finished ninth, another debutant on the event.
Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson snatched the FIA WRC 2 Championship category win after Škoda team-mate Kalle Rovanperä rolled in the penultimate stage while leading. Tidemand beat Gus Greensmith by over seven minutes to take the lead in the Championship standings.
The sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship takes the contenders back to Europe for Rally de Portugal (17-20 May).
Rally Argentina – Final Unofficial classification (subject to scrutineering)
|1||Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 43min 28.9sec|
|2||Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 44min 06.6sec|
|3||Dani Sordo / Carlos del Barrio||Hyundai i20 Couple WRC||3hr 44min 44.6sec|
|4||Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia||Ford Fiesta WRC||3hr 45min 27.5sec|
|5||Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jæger||Hyundai i20 WRC||3hr 45min 31.5sec|
|6||Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt||Ford Fiesta WRC||3hr 46min 35.2sec|
|7||Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle||Citroen C3 WRC||3hr 46min 54.6sec|
|8||Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 48min 01.5sec|
|9||Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula||Ford Fiesta WRC||3hr 49min 07.5sec|
|10||Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson||Škoda Fabia R5||3hr 55min 44.7sec|