Monday 29 April 2019

Rally - WRC Argentina

Argentinian roundup ... The top ten in Argentina had a different look to it at the weekend when Thierry Neuville extended his FIA World Rally Championship lead to 10 points by winning the 5th round of this year's series, the Xion Rally Argentina.
Neuville had a 48.4sec lead over Hyundai i20 team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen at the finish with Sebastien Ogier claiming third in his Citroen.

Kris Meeke lost out on a possible third place overall when the Toyota driver was given a 10 second penalty at close of play on Saturday and then punctured a tyre with 6 kms to go on the final stage: Kris commented: “The time penalty last night dropped us back to fifth, but everything was still there to fight for. The car was working really well this morning and I enjoyed it. The rhythm was good and we continued that into the Power Stage, but about six kilometres from the end, I got a warning light to say the tyre pressures were going down. I have no idea where it happened. I tried my best, and sometimes it's like this. It's a bit frustrating, because in the last three rallies we could have had a top result. I'm really enjoying driving this car, and I enjoyed today even though it didn't quite work out. I have to keep doing what I'm doing, I know it's going to come right.”

Team mate Ott Tänak also got a 10 second penalty but that only compounded his rally troubles which included a broken driveshaft on Friday and alternator problems on Saturday. And just out of interest the penalties were awarded for "taking the wrong route" following confusion around a gate on SS11.

Teemu Suninen was the best placed M-Sport driver in 7th place after Elfyn Evans crashed his Fiesta out of 6th on SS10 when it struck a roadside rock:
“I’ve used these notes for quite a few years and not had a problem before," said Elfyn, "but when I arrived at the corner I felt I was carrying just a little bit too much speed. I threw it in, and we made the corner to be fair, but I couldn’t recover the oversteer. I planted the throttle but couldn’t get the car straight and we hit a fairly massive boulder that was lining the road.”

Gus Greensmith scored 2nd in WRC2 Pro (behind Pedro Heller) and 15th o/a in his Fiesta R5, but had a puncture and broken suspension to contend with.

1 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 3h20m54.6s
2 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger-Amland (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +48.4s
3 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +1m04.8s
4 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m06.2s 5 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m21.1s
6 Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m26.7s
7 Teemu Suninen/Marko Salminen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4m57.3s
8 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +14m24.8s
9 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroën C3 WRC) +14m28.5s
10 Pedro Heller/Marc Marti (Ford Fiesta R5) +20m14.5s

Drivers’ World Championship
Thierry Neuville – 110 points
Sébastien Ogier – 100 points
Ott Tänak – 82 points
Kris Meeke – 54 points
Elfyn Evans – 43 points
Andreas Mikkelsen – 30 points
Jari-Matti Latvala – 28 points
Esapekka Lappi – 26 points
Dani Sordo – 26 points
Sébastien Loeb – 22 points

(Thanks to Toyota Gazoo and M-Sport for the pics - Argentina anyone? )

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