WRC Rally Argentina: Tanak storms to a 22.7s lead

Toyota's Ott Tanak stormed into a 22.7-second Rally Argentina lead with a dominant performance on Friday afternoon

WRC Rally Argentina: Tanak storms to a 22.7s lead

Having spent the morning charging from ninth to second following an early mistake, Tanak quickly deposed Andreas Mikkelsen from first place on the superspecial that preceded the lunchtime service.

Tanak then went quickest on all three of the afternoon's full-length stages with a pace the rest of the field could not match, despite being third in the running order on roads where the dust-clearing effect had a significant impact.

Mikkelsen's challenge for victory went awry immediately after he lost the lead, as a puncture on the next stage, Las Bajadas dropped him to eighth.

It also left the Hyundai driver without a spare tyre for the rest of the day and he was only able to regain one spot before the end of the leg.

Kris Meeke therefore moved up into second place for Citroen, despite a puncture of his own near the end of the day's final stage. He currently holds the position with a six-second margin over battling Hyundai drivers Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo.

The team-mates swapped places through the afternoon and will begin Saturday just 0.9s apart.

Running first on the road hampered World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Ogier and he slid back to fifth place through the loop, with Craig Breen closing on him in the second Citroen.

Esapekka Lappi and Teemu Suninen also sustained punctures during the afternoon and are eighth and 10th, sandwiching an off-the-pace Elfyn Evans.

Jari-Matti Latvala's hopes of restarting for Saturday after his morning suspension breakage have been dashed as Toyota discovered there was also damage to the car's engine oil lubrication system.

"Of course [there's frustration] when you know your team-mate is running really, really well," Latvala told Autosport.

"My championship doesn't look very good. I need to put this behind and trust in myself and the speed from the car - we know the car has the speed, we have seen this today."

Leading positions after SS8

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1h30m38.6s
2 Kris Meeke, P.Nagle Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 22.7s
3 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 28.6s
4 Dani Sordo, C.del Barrio Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 29.5s
5 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 36.4s
6 Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 41.2s
7 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 58.5s
8 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1m07.9s
9 Elfyn Evans, D.Barritt M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 1m10.3s
10 Teemu Suninen, M.Markkula M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 1m33.7s


shares
comments
WRC Rally Argentina: Jari-Matti Latvala explains early retirement
Previous article

WRC Rally Argentina: Jari-Matti Latvala explains early retirement

Next article

Rally Argentina: Only the weather can stop leader Tanak - Kris Meeke

Rally Argentina: Only the weather can stop leader Tanak - Kris Meeke
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Plus

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally Plus

How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022
How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead Plus

How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead

Although the Rally Portugal entry list featured World Rally Championship royalty in Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier, victory was secured by rallying's rising star in Kalle Rovanpera. Here's the story of his 2022 hat-trick, as his key rivals faltered among the gravel and asphalt ahead of them

WRC
May 23, 2022
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Plus

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Plus

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Plus

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Plus

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Autosport donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the trials and tribulations of a rally mechanic

WRC
Apr 17, 2022