Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle claimed their first WRC victory today at Rally Argentina, the DS 3 WRC crew heading a Citroën one-two for the first time since Rally Finland in 2012. The duo led the event for all but one stage and survived one of the most gruelling and dramatic rallies in recent memory with a virtually trouble-free run. Team-mates Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson finished just 18.1 seconds adrift and M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt took their first podium in the Fiesta RS WRC.
In the FIA World Rally Championship, Sébastien Ogier continues to head the leaderboard, the Frenchman only able to salvage three Power Stage points from the fourth round of the series. Østberg has moved into second position ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen, another driver forced into retirement after an accident in the final stage today. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, Volkswagen collected just four points but tops the table with Citroën and Hyundai both just 18 points adrift.
Today the crews headed to one of the most famous stages in the Championship – El Condor – for two runs through this legendary 16.32 kilometre test. Meeke and Østberg got through the stage unscathed but the first victim of the day was Jari-Matti Latvala. Third last night, the Finn stopped four kilometres into the stage with a fuel supply problem, ending his hopes of another podium in Argentina and handing the position to Evans. Meeke’s smooth run through the Power Stage was enough to reward him with a fantastic victory and the accolade of becoming the first British driver to win a WRC event since Colin McRae on the 2002 Safari Rally.
Behind Østberg, Evans had a last-minute scare in the Power Stage, the Welshman dropped over a minute with broken rear suspension. Martin Prokop was elevated to fourth when Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville also crashed in the final stage, the Belgian having an identical accident to Mikkelsen. This equals his best WRC result. Dani Sordo finished fifth and Khalid Al Qassimi rounded off the top six. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari scored his first WRC points with seventh position and also won the FIA WRC 2 Championship category in his Ford Fiesta RRC.