Thierry Neuville of Hyundai
Motorsport, driving a Hyundai i20 coupe, won by a whisker thus making it one of
the closest FIA World Rally Championship wins in history at YPF Rally Argentina
on the afternoon of April 30, 2017.
He surged ahead of leader Elfyn Evans of
M-Sport World Rally Team by just 0.7sec in a pulsating final speed test when
the Welshman clipped a bridge, ending his dreams of a maiden victory. Only two
rounds have been decided by a smaller margin in the WRC’s 45-year history,
according to a WRC report.
In fact, Neuville trailed
Evans by 11.5sec heading into the last leg of the four-day dirt road encounter.
Brake problems for Evans combined with Neuville’s attack sent the pair into the
final 16.32km test at the famous El Condor separated by just 0.6sec. Throwing
all caution to the wind on the rough mountain tracks, both drivers drove on but
then Evans’ Ford Fiesta swiped a bridge and that handed Neuville a second
For Evans it was a dream
shattered as he said, “I’m gutted to lose by such a fine margin after so many
issues. I hit a bridge and that was probably the difference. It’s difficult to
take now after holding such a big lead, but part of it is my own doing and I
need to come back stronger to win in the future.”
Meanwhile, Ott Tänak’s (M-Sport
World Rally Team) careful strategy paid off as he steered clear of trouble on
the rocky terrains to finish third in his Ford Fiesta, a further 29.2sec back. Reigning
champion Sébastien Ogier made it three M-Sport World Rally Team cars in the top
four, and the Frenchman increased his championship lead to 16 points after five
of 13 rounds.
Jari-Matti Latvala of Toyota
Gazoo Racing WRT was the one challenging Evansearly on, but he was forced to
slip back to the fifth position in his Toyota Yaris. For Hayden Paddon of
Hyundai Motorsport, bad luck came in the form of a broken power steering. He
has claimed his maiden win in Argentina 12 months ago. He had to be content
with coming sixth. Juho Hänninen, Dani Sordo, Mads Østberg and WRC 2 winner
Pontus Tidemand completed the leaderboard. The next race, the Vodafone Rally de
Portugal hosts round six of the championship in Matosinhos, near Porto on May
18, 19, 20 and 21.
YPF Rally Argentina Results
M-Sport World Rally Team
Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
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