Al-Kuwari extends WRC 2 lead
Qatari almost three minutes clear in Argentina
Although the Qatari did not win a stage during the four-day gravel rally, he avoided the problems that affected his rival to bring his Ford Fiesta RRC to the Villa Carlos Paz finish with a 2min 48.5sec advantage over Paraguay’s Diego Dominguez.
“It was one of the roughest and most difficult rallies I’ve driven in my life,” he said. “We learned to be clever and took it steady. In fact on Saturday and Sunday I drove like a taxi driver!”
Al-Kuwari’s win was never in doubt once Yurii Protasov’s rear suspension fell off his Fiesta RRC in Friday’s final stage.
The Ukrainian ran 500 metres to retrieve the unit before replacing it, but he was handed a 15-minute penalty for driving a short distance on the public road with only three wheels. He won all but one of the stages and eventually finished fourth.
Ahead of him in the final podium place was Jari Ketomaa. The Finn finished more than 12 minutes behind Al-Kuwari despite power steering problems and a puncture on his Fiesta R5, but stretched his championship lead to 18 points.
Simone Tempestini dropped seven minutes in the final stage to drop from fourth to sixth in his Subaru Impreza but still won the Production Car Cup within WRC 2. His problems allowed Didier Arias into fifth.