Kris Meeke swept into the lead of Rally Argentina, the latest round of the FIA World Rally Championship, driving his works Citroen DS3 he beat the Hyundai i20 driven by Spain’s Dani Sordo by more than half a minute with Jari-Matti Latvala next up in his works Volkswagen Polo R some two seconds adrift of Sordo.
The biggest name to suffer was Sebastien Ogier who parked his Volkswagen Polo R after 45km with suspected engine problems.
Neither Meeke nor Sordo escaped unscathed as Meeke drove the entire test with a broken handbrake while Sordo lost time towards the finish when his power steering broke.
“It was difficult in the hairpins and in the last 10kms of the stage as I could not see with the dust; I took it easy and was idling through the corners,” commented Meeke.
Meeke’s advantage was cut to 15.3sec by the Latvala after the Ulster driver drove two-thirds of the of stage three with a rear right puncture. He set fifth fastest time on the stage.
Latvala was fastest by 10.2sec from Meeke’s Citroen teammate Mads Ostberg who climbed to third place.
Sordo drove the entire stage with no power steering on his Hyundai after his opening stage issues; he lost a minute and plunged from second to sixth.
Stages four and five fell to Meeke and his lead extended to 53 seconds as the cars headed to the final stage of the day the Spectator Special.
on Saturday the action continues with the finish tomorrow, a total of seven stages remaining and Meeke refused to discuss the possibility of his first World Championship victory.