Friday | 24 Apr 2015

SS4: Tänak loses wheel

Estonia’s Ott Tänak was the latest frontrunner to strike trouble at XION Rally Argentina when he retired after ripping the front left wheel from his Ford Fiesta RS.

Stage info: SS4

Agua de Oro / Ascochinga 2, 51.99km
A well-known stage used in the opposite direction for the first time. The opening 21km are incredibly rough, twisty and littered with rocks before the road opens into faster sections. The stage mainly runs across vast open pampas, undulates frequently and contains several water splashes. A great stage but extremely tough.

Tänak, who was fourth, entered a water splash in third gear just 2km into the horrendously rough 51.99km stage and hit a rock. He retired instantly but should return tomorrow under Rally 2 rules.

Kris Meeke was fastest by 13.4sec from Jari-Matti Latvala to extend his lead over the Finn to 28.7sec, the Northern Irishman insisting he drove within himself in Citroën’s DS 3.

“Fastest time wasn’t the intention, I just wanted to be clean. The road was hellish rough but I had a good rhythm and the car danced through. I’m closed off from the lead battle. I’m driving at 95 per cent and it’s where I need to be all the time,” he said.

Latvala lost his Volkswagen Polo R’s rear bumper and admitted his brakes were losing their bite towards the finish. “A lot of bedrock and loose rocks. I managed to stay away from them but there were a couple of big impacts at the back,” he said.

Third fastest kept Mads Østberg third overall while Tänak’s demise promoted Dani Sordo to fourth.

Andreas Mikkelsen endured a tough start in his Volkswagen Polo R and finally retired on the link section to the stage. Also out is Hayden Paddon, whose Hyundai i20 took a fearful battering this morning. The Kiwi didn’t leave the mid-leg service.

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