Day 2: Strong Saturday for our crews in Rally Argentina
The penultimate day of Rally Argentina allowed us to strengthen our grip on the podium with Thierry/Nicolas up to second place overall and Dani/Carlos in third.
However, with foggy conditions in the morning and rough terrain in the afternoon, Saturdays itinerary required a careful approach from crews.
We have had to stay really focused, admitted Thierry. We lost a bit of time early on as we tackled the foggy morning stages, but we pushed as hard as we could. I am pleased to have moved up to second overall.
Mind the gap
Our Belgians consistently set top-three stage times, and also added a second stage win of the weekend in SS12, the Fernet Branca Super Special. Thierry is looking to reduce the gap to drivers championship leader Sébastien Ogier with a third podium result of the season on Sunday.
Our target is to secure second place and to maximise points for both championships, added Thierry.
With 146.88km of special stages on Saturday, including the longest of the rally the 40.48km Cuchilla Nevada-Rio Pintos route it was another busy day. For our Spanish crew, a win on the last stage allowed them to move back into the top-three.
The fight for the podium places has been really open, commented Dani. The final stage went well. I was a bit scared of the tyres because we were on the limit. We couldnt afford a single mistake so we drove cleanly and just enjoyed it.
After a disappointing Friday, having led the rally briefly, Andreas and Anders jumped back up into the top-five.
We have tried to make up some places, said Andreas. We were just trying to drive neat and tidy, and well see where we end up on Sunday. This is a particularly tough and unpredictable rally.
Three stages are left to run on Sunday morning, including the famous El Condor. Ott Tanak holds a commanding lead of the event so we will aim to secure a double podium finish and increase our lead in the manufacturers championship.
All we can do is keep the pressure on, said our Team Principal Michel. We know the job is not yet done. There is still a long way to go, with El Condor promising to offer another exciting finale to Rally Argentina.
Classification after Day Two
1 O. Tänak / M. Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2:58:33.9
2 T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +46.5
3 D. Sordo / C. del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1:08.2
4 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1:59.0
5 A. Mikkelsen / A. Jæger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2:13.8
6 E. Lappi / J. Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2:42.9
7 E. Evans / D. Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2:49.1
8 K. Meeke / P. Nagle (Citroën C3 WRC) +3:20.4
9 T. Suninen / M. Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4:17.6