El 38th Rally Argentina It will not be remembered, precisely, for having a fight between several pilots at the top or for a tight definition, but it will be only for the dominance of Ott Tanak (Toyota Yaris WRC).
The Estonian, who had finished third in the last edition of this event, was a solid leader from the first stage and maintained an appreciable difference over the rest from the first stage that was impossible for his rivals to discount.
The start of Tanak on the fifth date of the World Cup was complicated. In the third special test he spun and lost some time, but then he took control of the situation and closed the day as leader with 22 seconds over the Northern Irishman Chris Meeke (Citroën).
In the second stage he repeated the good performance and moved further away from his new escort, the Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 WRC). The 2017 rally winner moved into second place for his speed and after a tough fight with Meeke, who was delayed by a puncture in SP 15.
On Sunday Tanak started with 44 seconds over Neuville, who could do little to prevent the Estonian's third success and Toyota's fourth in the classic race organized by the Automobile Club Argentino. Finally, the Belgian was 37.7 seconds behind. While the podium was completed by the Spanish Dani sordo (Hyundai i20 WRC) at 1m15s7.
"Pushing, pushing and the great work of the team throughout the weekend were very important to achieve this victory", Ott Tanak.
The Top 5 was completed by the French champion Sébastien Ogier (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) at 1m58s6 and the Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai i20 WRC) at 2m02s6 / 10. The championship is tighter after this appointment. Ogier remains the leader with 100 points. Lurking is Neuville with 90 and Tanak with 72.
The closing was with a great scare: that of the Finn Kalle rovanpera (Skoda Fabia R5), who overturned a couple of kilometers from the end of the Giulio Cesare-Mina Clavero section when defending the tip of the WRC2. In his confusion, the Nordic rammed a couple of cars, although fortunately no one in the public was involved in the incident since the area had been cleared by the police minutes before.
The abandonment of Rovanpera was taken advantage of by the Swede Pontus Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5) to move to first place, a position it had at the end of the first stage, and stay with the victory. Alejandro Cancio (Skoda Fabia R5) finished fourth in the category and 13th overall.
1. Ott Tänak (EST / Toyota Yaris WRC), 3h43m28s9
2. Thierry Neuville (BEL / Hyundai i20 WRC) at 37s7
3. Dani Sordo (ESP / Hyundai i20 WRC) at 1m15s7
4. Sébastien Ogier (FRA / Ford Fiesta WRC) at 1m58s6
5. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR / Hyundai i20 WRC) at 2m02s6
6. Elfyn Evans (GBR / Ford Fiesta WRC) at 3m06s3
7. Kris Meeke (GBR / Citroën C3 WRC) at 3m25s7
8. Esapekka Lappi (FIN / Toyota Yaris WRC) at 4m32s6
9. Teemu Suninen (FIN / Ford Fiesta WRC) at 5m38s6
10. Pontus Tidemand (SUE / Skoda Fabia R5 / WRC2) at 12m15s8
11. Ole Veiby (NOR / Skoda Fabia R5) at 18m06s1
12. Gus Greensmith (GBR / Ford Fiesta R5) at 19m54s9
13. Alejandro Cancio (ARG / Skoda Fabia R5) at 21m03s3
14. Khalid Al Qassimi (ARE / Citroën C3 WRC) at 21m18s3
15. Pedro Heller (CHL / Ford Fiesta R5 / WRC2) at 21m18s7