Friday | 24 Apr 2015

SS5: Transmission trouble for Latvala

Second-placed Jari-Matti Latvala’s hopes of challenging Kris Meeke for the lead at XION Rally Argentina suffered a setback when the Finn encountered transmission problems in the penultimate stage of a gruelling day.

Stage info: SS5

Villa Bustos / Tanti 2, 19.71km
Parts of this test were used in 2007, but much is new. It starts on a wide, good-surfaced, fast road with some big corners that demand bravery. It is only in the final 4km that it becomes twisty and rougher, with a couple of water splashes.

He started the test 28.7sec behind Meeke and the pair were tied at the final split point, but Latvala conceded almost 25sec in the last section. He heads into the final 6.04km super special stage in Villa Carlos Paz 53.1sec adrift.

“We have a problem with the drive from the front differential,” said the dejected Volkswagen Polo R driver at the finish.

Meeke was quickest in his DS 3 by 8.4sec from Mads Østberg, who has now closed the gap on Latvala in the overall standings to 18.6sec. Third fastest for Elfyn Evans in a Ford Fiesta RS narrowed the margin to fourth-placed Dani Sordo to just 1.4sec.

Martin Prokop drove the test with a broken anti-roll bar in his Fiesta RS, damage inflicted in the previous stage. “We had to work to keep the car on the road. It is moving a lot,” said the Czech driver.

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