Rally Argentina: Neuville beats Evans for a blink of an eye
What a dramatic day it was in Argentina! Hyundai Motorsport’s Thierry Neuville wins the Rally Argentina, the fifth round of the 2017 World Rally Championship, in one of the closest finishes ever in a history of WRC. He beats DMACK Ford’s driver Elfyn Evans by 0.7 seconds after winning the last stage of the event, in which he entered with 0.6 second gap behind Evans.
For Neuville, it’s his fourth WRC victory in a career. Evans was just a step from his maiden win but at the end, he recorded just a podium, his third in a career.
A third driver on a podium was M-Sport’s Ott Tanak, who was 29.9 seconds behind Neuvile and 54.8 seconds ahead of his teammate and reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier. Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala finished in the fifth place. The completely same order was in the last stage of the rally, the Power Stage, which brings additional points to top 5 driver.
The anti-hero of the rally was Kris Meeke, the 2015 winner of this event, who crashed heavily two times with #7 Citroen C3 WRC, first time on Friday’s SS4 and then on Saturday’s SS14. He was in the second place when rolled a car on Friday. His mechanics managed to repair a car for Saturday and Meeke was among the fastest drivers, winning two stages before rolling out his car again.
His teammate Craig Breen was also forced to retire on Friday after damaging a gearbox on a rock. Breen returned on Sunday to score at least some points in the Manufacturers’ championship. Drivers who finished in the top 10, between P6 and P10, are Haydon Padden (Hyundai), Juho Hanninen (Toyota), Dani Sordo (Hyundai), Mads Ostberg (Ford) and Pontus Tidemand (Škoda).
After five events, Sebastien Ogier remains in the championship lead with 102 points. Latvala collected 86 points, Neuville has 84 and Tanak 64.
The next championship round is Rally de Portugal on May 19-21.