Pontus Tidemand led a Skoda Motorsport domination on the opening day of YPF Rally Argentina as he and team-mate Kalle Rovanperä shared the WRC 2 stage wins between them.
It was 17-year-old Rovanperä who had the upper hand after Thursday's night's Super Special in Villa Carlos Paz, but in a dust affected opening stage this morning, Tidemand romped ahead.
Tidemand was more than 30 seconds faster than Rovanperä in SS2, when the young Finn was hampered by poor visibility - a legacy of the one-minute gaps that separated the WRC 2 field.
After the start intervals were extended, Rovanperä took a hat-trick of stage wins to reach the mid-leg service with a 22.5sec deficit to his fellow Fabia R5 driver.
Despite winning SS7, he couldn’t eat into the lead of Tidemand – who got a puncture 6km from the end of the stage - and ended the day 20.2sec behind.
Gus Greensmith is third in a Ford Fiesta, 1m27s off the lead after a steering issue hampered his morning following a solid start on SS2.
Almost four minutes off the lead in fourth place is Pedro Heller, the Chilean lucky to still be running after rolling on SS3. He managed to keep going but completed the morning loop without a windscreen in his Fiesta R5.
Diego Dominguez is fifth going into Saturday after solid day of running in his Hyundai i20 R5.
Gustavo Saba was running in the top five during the start of the day, but he’ll be restarting under Rally2 tomorrow after mechanical issues on the Amboy-Yacanto stage.
A penalty for Marquito Bulacia has also seen him drop out of podium contention after he was penalised for checking in 20 minutes late to the start of SS7.
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