The first stage of Rally Argentina delivered many emotions. The day, which had the Calamuchita Valley as the setting, witnessed a great duel between the main referents of the World Rally.
Estonian Ott Tänak (Toyota), which became the first test leader to organize the Automobile Club Argentino After winning the night Super Special in Villa Carlos Paz, he had a tough fight for first place with his Irish teammate Chris Meeke, who passed to the front of the general after PE 4, Personal Fibertel Santa Rosa-San Agustín won Las Bajadas-Villa Del Dique, which was the second of the day after the first in Las Bajadas-Villa Del Dique and the cancellation of PE 3 Amboy-Yacanto for its poor condition.
Meeke started the second part of the stage with a steady pace and also took advantage of the fight for second place between Tänak and the Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), but the emotions came on the last two stages of the day.
In PE 7 Meeke lost 20 seconds and left the first place in the hands of Tänak, but the joy of his teammate did not last long since in the last selective the transmission shaft broke.
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So, right off the bat, the race became red hot with Neuville as the new leader with eleven seconds ahead of the Frenchman. Sébastien Ogier (Citroën), precisely the two fight for the leadership of the tournament. Third finished Tänak at 13 seconds.
Stage 2 will take place on Saturday and will consist of seven special tests with two passes to Tanti-Mataderos, Mataderos-Cuchilla Nevada and Cuchilla Nevada-Characato -the longest stretch of the race with 33 kilometers- and a visit to the Villa Theme Park Carlos Paz at noon.
THE PALAZO DE LAPPI
The scare of the day was starred by the Finn Esapekka Lappi (Citroën), who overturned with five kilometers to go to finish PE 8 (Personal Fibertel Santa Rosa-San Agustín won Las Bajadas-Villa Del Dique II). Fortunately, neither he nor his navigator were injured, although the car was badly damaged. At the time of the incident, the Nordic was ninth.
|1.||T. NEUVILLE||HYUNDAI SHELL MOBIS WORLD RALLY TEAM||1:11:13.9|
|2.||S. OGIER||CITROEN TOTAL WRT||+11.9|
|3.||O. TÄNAK||TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT||+13.4|
|4.||K. MEEKE||TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT||+28.1|
|5.||A. MIKKELSEN||HYUNDAI SHELL MOBIS WORLD RALLY TEAM||+29.4|
|6.||E. EVANS||M-SPORT FORD WORLD RALLY TEAM||+38.2|
|7.||D. DEAF||HYUNDAI SHELL MOBIS WORLD RALLY TEAM||+41.1|
|8.||T. SUNINEN||M-SPORT FORD WORLD RALLY TEAM||+ 1: 59.2|
|9.||J. LATVALA||TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT||+ 2: 02.9|
|10.||M. OSTBERG||CITROEN TOTAL||+ 6: 11.1|
|11.||P. HELLER||PEDRO HELLER||+ 8: 21.9|
|12.||A. GALANTI||ALEJANDRO GALANTI||+ 10: 05.1|
|13.||M. BULACIA||SKODA MOTORSPORT||+ 10: 48.8|
|14.||P. NOBRE||PAULO NOBRE||+ 14: 04.0|
|15.||B. WAR||BENITO GUERRA||+ 14: 30.6|
|16.||J. IRIBARREN||JOSÉ MARÍA IRIBARREN||+ 39: 12.6|
|17.||G. BOTTAZZINI||WILLIAM BOTTAZZINI||+ 47: 38.4|
|18.||S. ZARZA||SERGIO OSCAR ZARZA||+ 47: 46.7|