Al-Kuwari builds strong WRC 2 lead
Qatari tops support category after opening leg in Argentina
The Qatari hit a rock in the opening stage but enjoyed a clean run through the rough gravel stages thereafter to return to the rally base in Villa Carlos Paz with a 2min 55.4sec lead in his Ford Fiesta RRC.
Diego Dominguez held second in a Fiesta R5, despite dropping 30sec in the opening test when the Paraguayan went off the road.
Jari Ketomaa is a distant third, the Finn almost 11min 50sec off the lead after a tough day in his Fiesta R5. Broken power steering slowed him this morning and then he stopped to change a puncture in the final stage before a spin ended a day he wanted to forget.
Broken power steering delayed Simone Tempestini, but he was fourth and led the Production Car Cup within WRC 2 in a Subaru Impreza.
Yurii Protasov won all three stages (one was cancelled following an accident) but is fifth after receiving a 15-minute penalty last night for driving on a public road with three wheels on his Ford Fiesta RRC.
It preceded his heroic efforts to replace the rear wheel, damper and driveshaft after the unit flew off his car near the end of SS3 yesterday.
Didier Arias completes the top six, while Radik Shaymiev stopped with mechanical problems after SS8 and the Russian has retired from the rally.