Rally Argentina: Day 3
Tänak and Toyota add to their Argentina advantage
Ott Tänak will start the final day of Rally Argentina with a lead of 46.5 seconds after another exceptional day behind the wheel of the Toyota Yaris WRC. As on Friday, Tänak was fastest on five of the seven stages, as he more than doubled his advantage. Team-mate Esapekka Lappi ended the day with a second-quickest time on the event's longest stage to climb to sixth in the overall standings.
On Saturday, the rally moved north to the fast roads in the Punilla Valley where Tänak would be untouchable in the morning, winning all three stages prior to the mid-day super special stage in Villa Carlos Paz. That was despite the appearance of fog reducing the visibility and increasing Tänak's reliance on the pace-notes of co-driver Martin Järveoja. Tänak took two more stage wins in the afternoon, raising his tally of fastest times this season to 28.
Lappi began the day promisingly, but lost a minute relative to Tänak on the first pass of the 40.48-kilometre Cuchilla Nevada - Rio Pintos stage after going off the road in the heavy fog following a wrong pace-note call. Lappi, making his Rally Argentina debut this weekend, later returned to the same stage and posted the second fastest time, enough to gain two positions on the leaderboard.
Quotes:Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“It has been an absolutely fantastic day from Ott again today. It is just great to see the confidence that he has at the moment. It seems to be that nothing is slowing him down at all. Now we just need to cross our fingers for tomorrow. We know that tomorrow's stages up in the mountains are very challenging. They are not so fast but there are lots of rocks and you need to try and avoid punctures. Esapekka was unlucky on the long stage this morning but otherwise he was going well. It was very good to see the speed coming from him this afternoon on his first time here.”
Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“Everything has been working really well. I have a very good feeling with the car, and especially so on today's roads, which were fast and flowing and suit our car very well. I was not pushing as hard as yesterday, when I was really on the limit. Today there was maybe a bit more control, but still the times were clearly quite good. This morning we had some really tricky conditions with really thick fog, but we managed it well and this afternoon was very enjoyable. I need to show respect for tomorrow's stages, because El Condor and Mina Clavero are very tough pieces of road and very different compared to today, but I am feeling confident.”
Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 9)
“This morning started well: the car was working well and the setup felt good. Then on the long stage, I got a wrong pace-note, and in the fog I couldn't see anything and we went a long way off the road. Luckily we didn't hit anything. This can happen, we are only human. The afternoon was really promising. We all know the potential is there in the car, as Ott has been showing since yesterday, and I'm getting there step by step. I had some strong times and the road was getting cleaner for the drivers behind me, so I'm pretty pleased with the speed. Every day is different here on Rally Argentina, and tomorrow's stages are the slowest, very technical and narrow with a lot of rocks. Therefore, I don't know if I can have the same confidence tomorrow, but I will certainly try for sure.”
End of day three (Saturday):
1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2h58m33.9s
2 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +46.5s
3 Dani Sordo/Carlos Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m08.2s
4 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m59.0s
5 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2m13.8s
6 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2m42.9s
7 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m49.1s
8 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC) +3m20.4s
9 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4m17.6s
10 Kalle Rovanpera/Janne Halttunen (Skoda Fabia R5) +10m50.2s
Retired after day 2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC)
(Results as of 16:00 on Saturday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)
On the final day, Rally Argentina moves into the Traslasierra mountains for two classic stages: El Condor and Mina Clavero. El Condor, which is always hugely popular with spectators, will be run twice, with the second pass serving as the rally-ending Power Stage from 12:18 local time.
Press kit and Event pictures will be uploaded here
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