VIDEO | Citroen’s Meeke on track for first WRC Win

WRC | 2015 World Rally Championship – 2015 Rally of Argentina Day 2

Written byMichael Vettas | Images by – André Lavadinho – @tWorld

WRC competitors faced similar conditions to day one, with four stages to be completed covering a distance of 131km; however a total of 440km for the second day competition would prove to be a very long day.

The organisers shortened the itinerary for day two just before the start of the rally. The long Characato stage was cut from 56 to 42 kilometres when the roads became impassable after very heavy rain in the region earlier in the year.

Although the toughest section was avoided, the rest of the day was going to prove just as demanding.

With a number of drivers re-joining the under Rally 2 rules, Ogier stamped his authority from the get go, winning the first stage of the day. Overnight leader Kris Meeke’s 68.4sec lead was reduced when he spun in thick dust, Mikkelsen also re-joining under Rally 2, was third fastest and Hayden Paddon fifth.

The second stage of the morning concluded with no reported issues; however the next stage would prove otherwise for one driver.

Paddon in his Hyundai i20 WRC made a small mistake after a jump on Super Stage nine (SS9) San Marcos. Paddon went offline and crashed in to nearby spectators and as a result the stage was cancelled with the remaining drivers being re-routed. The WRC and rally officials released a report shortly after advising that a number of people had been injured and were taken to hospital.

A concerned Paddon said “The morning loop went quite well. We picked up from where we left off yesterday, making some small set-up changes and not having any real problems with the car”

“I made a small mistake after a jump, we went slightly off line onto the edge of the road and unfortunately, there were some spectators which we hit. It was not a nice incident; our best wishes go to everyone involved.” Paddon continued.

With just the one stage remaining, Meeke held a 32.5sec lead over team mate Ostberg with Latvala still on his heels a further 35.1sec behind.



The only major issue for the stage was that of Dani Sordo. Sordo was hot on the heels of Latvala just 14.1 seconds a drift and closing rapidly, 10km into the stage his engine failed, forcing him to stop and retire for the day.

Sordo said “Obviously it is a very disappointing end to what had been a very strong day for us. We started this morning with the objective of pushing to continue the momentum we built up yesterday afternoon”

“I was happy with the balance of the car was fantastic, we were here today to push for the podium but unfortunately we picked up an electrical problem” continued an upbeat Sordo.

Jari-Matti Latvala defended his third place and closed the gap to the leaders now only trailing Mads Ostberg in 2nd place by 25.1 seconds going in to the final day of competition.

Surprised by the difficult conditions, Latvala said “The conditions today were once again extremely difficult; we had luck on our side when we slipped up on the eighth special stage.”

“Tomorrow we take on ‘El Cóndor’ twice, I know this stage very well, so I can still put the two leaders under some pressure.” he concluded before being rushed off for another team briefing.

Neuville had a relatively stress free day and made up ground and sits in fifth position overall.

Neuville said “Overall, I had no real problems and felt the conditions weren’t as bad as yesterday, we had a good rhythm and I felt confident with the car and the pace notes.”

Mads Østberg held his position even with a head cold which has affected him all week, he still remains in 2nd overall behind teammate Meeke by 38.6sec.

Østberg showed great pace in the morning only to capitalise on his position in the afternoon “We backed off a little to make sure of bringing home the Citroen DS 3 in perfect condition; we’re not taking any risks!”

“I remain focused on second place, which is very important for me and for the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.” Østberg continued.

Finally Kris Meeke held his lead even with a scare two thirds into the final stage of the day when his Citroen DS3 WRC stalled, he lost precious seconds although regained his composure to complete the day.

With just 32km left of competition, Meeke is set to win his first WRC event or will team orders come into play.

Meeke was keen to inform the media and his fans “There are only 32 kilometres left to go tomorrow but they are some of the most difficult roads in the Championship! So it’s not over yet.”

“The roads are barely wider than the car on El Condor, and you have a lot of rocks and moonlike landscapes. It’s going to be a long day for us…” said Meeke who finished with a confident smile.

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