Buenos Aires - Estonian Ott Tanak won Rally Argentina for Toyota on Sunday, his first victory of the season as Sebastien Ogier's overall championship lead was reduced to 10 points by Belgian Thierry Neuville.
Tanak (in a Yaris) won the fifth round of the championship by 37.7 seconds, with Neuville second and his Hyundai team-mate Dani Sordo third.
Ogier, who had won three of the four rallies before Argentina, finished fourth for M-Sport Ford. He now has 100 points to Neuville's 90.
"I can't say it was easy. I was pushing really hard and living on the edge on Friday and Saturday," said Tanak, who had damaged his car's steering in the opening special stage on Friday.
He went on to win 10 stages of the event based in Villa Carlos Paz, near Cordoba and some 700km to the north-west of Buenos Aires.
“I wasn’t expecting this after the first stage. I was maybe dreaming of the podium as I was already so far away from the lead. But we got some encouragement, started to push hard and obviously everything was working well with the car,” Tanak said.
Neuville (pictured below) added five points to his tally by winning the final Power Stage in his i20 Coupe, with Ogier second.
"It wasn't an easy rally for us and we need to work on some areas to improve. But when you come away from a difficult event with 16 points, it's not bad," Ogier said.
Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai i20) took fifth spot just four seconds adrift of Ogier, while Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta) completed the top six, coming home ahead of Kris Meeke (Citroen C3) and Esapekka Lappi (Toyota Yaris).
The next rally is in Portugal from May 17-20.Reuters