Thursday 23 November 2017

Meeke's lead reduced

Kris Meeke leads the Rally Argentina with two stages to go on Sunday
Kris Meeke leads the Rally Argentina with two stages to go on Sunday

Kris Meeke saw his overall Rally Argentina lead narrow on a day which also saw a group of spectators injured in a crash involving Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon.

Meeke led Citroen team-mate Mads Ostberg by one minute and 8.4 seconds after Friday's racing but saw his lead cut significantly when he spun during Saturday's opening stage.

The Northern Irishman regained time with a third-placed finish in the day's final stage, despite stopping briefly after a water splash, to lead Ostberg by 38.6secs with just two stages on Sunday to come.

The 35-year-old Dungannon native is bidding to win his first ever rally and become the first British winner since Colin McRae won the Safari Rally in 2002.

Jari-Matti Latvala (Volkswagen) is third overall, while Wales' Elfyn Evans (M-Sport) is fourth and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) rounds off the top five.

Volkswagen won all three of Saturday's stages with Andreas Mikkelsen claiming two wins and Sebastien Ogier, who was forced to retire from Friday's racing after encountering a fuel flow problem, winning the other.

But the day's racing was overshadowed by Paddon's accident on the third stage of the day which saw six spectators injured.

Neither Paddon nor his co-driver John Kennard were hurt in the accident, but the stage was cancelled to allow the casualties to be taken to hospital.

Press Association

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