WRC: Jari-Matti Latvala secures narrow lead in Rally Argentina

Last Updated: 09/05/14 10:02pm

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Jari Matti Latvala: Leader after day one in Argentina

Jari Matti Latvala: Leader after day one in Argentina

Sky Bet

Jari-Matti Latvala claimed the lead at the end of a topsy-turvy opening day of the Rally Argentina.

The Finn traded places with Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier throughout a tough day that saw big names Mikko Hirvonen, Mads Ostberg, Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Andreas Mikkelsen retire.

Latvala was in imperious form on the last stage of the day, the second pass between Ascochinga and Agua de Oro, taking more than 18 seconds out of reigning world champion Ogier.

And that came despite his Volkswagen finishing with two huge chunks of rubber missing from its front right tyre - somehow the Michelin tyre remained inflated.

The final stage proved disastrous for the Hyundai team with Sordo stopping 1km into it with an engine problem and Neuville suffering a similar problem despite seemingly driving very slowly through the stage.

Mikkelsen also lost his chances of a high finish with what is reported to be an alternator problem.

Neither Hirvonen or Ostberg reached the end of the opening stage, which Ogier won.

Latvala took the second stage and claimed the lead, only to lose it again to Ogier and win it back in Friday's finale.

The carnage allowed Britain's Kris Meeke to move into third place ahead of compatriot Elfyn Evans and former Formula One driver Robert Kubica.

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