Argentina being the home to the 51.99km long Agua de Oro/Ascochinga track that begins with open plains in the Punilla Valley to a winding mountainous road circulating the Traslasierra mountains in beautiful South America. While this track sounds almighty and wonderful, it comes with a handful of difficulties which led to racers losing ground, but our Kriss Meeke set the fastest time as well as Mads Østberg grabbed fourth place.
Unfortunately for Meeke, he was slowed down by a puncture where his lead was cut in half whilst Mads Østberg moved up to third. After overcoming the delay, the only place you could find Kris Meeke was battling the front grounds ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala at the final stages.
Kris Meeke: “We knew that it would be an incredibly difficult day, even the most experienced drivers had problems. For us, on the other hand, the DS 3 WRC was perfect. Although the road surface was very rough, I felt really comfortable in the car and the times were good. I just focused on my own driving. For the time being, everything is going well, so there’s no need to change anything!”
Mads Østberg: “We are sticking to the plan we had before the start of the rally. The aim is to drive at our own pace, without taking any risks. It’s great to finish in second position after this difficult first leg. It augurs well for the rest of the rally, especially with our team-mates in front of us. We have to keep going tomorrow.”
Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi: “It was very rough. I decided to be cautious on the first loop to get my bearings. I tried to increase my pace a little bit after that. This afternoon, I went with soft tyres. It was more difficult on the last twenty kilometres, but that was part and parcel of our strategy.”
STANDINGS AFTER DAY 2
1. Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (DS 3 WRC) 1:44:47.8
2. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (DS 3 WRC) +1:08.4
3. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:23.5
4. Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:54.2
5. Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:59.7
6. Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +3:27.4
7. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +5:06.2
8. Khalid Al Qassimi/Chris Patterson (DS 3 WRC) +6:01.8
9. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari/Marshall Clarke (Ford Fiesta RRC) +6:46.3
10. Yurii Protasov/Pavlo Cherepin (Ford Fiesta RRC) +8:43.3…