Pontus Tidemand continued to dominate WRC 2 at YPF Rally Argentina on Saturday as his lead rose to almost 10 minutes with one leg remaining.
After building a commanding advantage yesterday, the Swede measured his pace over today’s six speed tests amid stunning pampas scenery near Villa Carlos Paz.
That was enough to more than double his lead to 9min 41.6sec in his Skoda Fabia R5 ahead of the similar car of local hero Juan Carlos Alonso.
Tidemand was beaten for the first time in the opening two tests. A noise beneath the Fabia prompted concerns and he eased his speed, but it turned out to be nothing more than loose plastic after an over-aggressive entry into a watersplash.
He won two of the six tests, the remaining four being claimed by Mexico’s Benito Guerra, who recovered to fourth after retiring yesterday.
“The next round is in Portugal and there will be huge competition there, so if we can collect 25 points here, then we might have the opportunity to really push in Portugal. It’s enjoyable to drive here and I’ve had no issues at all,” he said.
Alonso and Guerra sandwiched the Ford Fiesta R5 of Pedro Heller in third. The Chilean lost second this morning when a puncture cost four minutes. He later damaged his suspension after hitting a rock and stopped when temporary repairs failed to hold.
Gustavo Saba was fifth, despite losing several minutes after breaking a wheel. Hubert Ptaszek was sixth, the Pole suffering a rear right puncture in the opening stage.