NEUVILLE CONQUERED ARGENTINA IN A THRILLING DEFINITION WITH EVANS
Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20) won the YPF Rally Argentina 2017 winning over Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta RS) for less than a second. The WRC held an unforgettable event with 900.000 fans present all over the stages.
The last day started with four candidates to win in Argentina for the first time: Evans, Neuville, Ott Tanak and Sébastien Ogier. After two stages ran, the super tight fight was between the British from M-Sport and the Belgium from the Hyundai Motorsport team, leader and runner-up, respectively, of the competition up to that moment.
Neuville was able to shorten the gap by ten seconds to get to the Power Stage El Cóndor at only 0s6 from the lead. All the drivers gave their best to keep the extra points given by this stage for the World Rally Championship. But the motivation to win this rally for the first time resulted in Neuville and Evans going the extra mile.
The Belgium driver completed the Power Stage and quickly got off the car to continue this incredible definition on the TV. Evans went through the first time control being faster than Neuville for 3s1 and was very close to get his victory in the WRC. The Brit, that was third on the 2015 edition, was the leader of this rally on 16 of the 18 stages ran but a few kilometers ahead of the first time control hit a bridge and lost a few seconds that were key for this fight.
At the end of the stage, Evans appeared 1s3 behind Neuville, which allowed for Hyundai Motorsport representative to win in Argentina for the first time and by only 0s7. Ott Tanak, who was third in the Power Stage, also caught the last position on the podium after beating four-times world champion Sebastien Ogier, who finished fourth. Jari-Matti Latvala completed the top five places in the overall.
WRC2: Tidemand from start to end
Pontus Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5) had a dream weekend and undeniably won YPF Rally Argentina 2017. The Swedish driver was the fastest in 10 out of 18 stages run and was the leader all along the weekend. Podium was completed by Argentinean Juan Carlos Alonso (Skoda Fabia R5) and Mexican Benito Guerra (Skoda Fabia R5).
Crowds attended YPF Rally Argentina 2017
Over 900 thousand spectators enjoyed the rally week on its 37th edition of the rally organized by Automóvil Club Argentino. There were visitors from many provinces in Argentina and also from Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia.
Thierry Neuville (1st): “The goal for this morning was to attack, the team also asked for that. We got a nice rhythm on the first stage and we saw the possibility of winning. We reduced the gap with Elfyn (Evans) in Mina Clavero – Giulio Césare and then we had no choice: We had to win. The gap was just 0.6 and we deserved the victory .”
Elfyn Evans (2nd): “I’ve just gone through the worst experience of my life. I was driving fast, but I lost it in the end. I can’t believe that I lost for such a small difference. I know I made a minor mistake which might be the answer to the difference we had. “
Ott Tanak (3rd): “It’s the best result I’ve got in Argentina. The trickiest rally that I ran in my whole life. I’m happy I made it to the end. We had a different strategy, but we decided to push instead in the fast sections and it worked. It was a great weekend”.
Pontus Tidemand: “Winner of WRC2, YPF Rally Argentina 2017:
“I’m very happy with the 25 points we’ve got. We pushed to get them. I want to thank the mechanics and the whole team. This is my first time in Argentina and I’m very happy. ”