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Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Jonas Andersson currently have everything under control at Rally Argentina. The two Swedes were the fastest WRC2 team on every single special stage on Friday, holding a dominant category lead of more than four and a half minutes. On Saturday, the longest day of the rally is waiting for the Swedish pairing.

After the spectacular and crowd-pleasing “super stage” in downtown Cordoba, the rally (based in the lakeside resort of Villa Carlos Paz 700 km north-west of Buenos Aires), headed on Friday to the south of Cordoba to the Santa Rosa Region for two loops of fast and sandy tracks. Having done the recce (where the teams check the stages and prepare their pace notes) in heavy rain and muddy conditions, on Friday the six stages were entirely dry. On some places even rocks came out of the ground, making the passage really tough for the rally cars.

Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson, ŠKODA FABIA R5, ŠKODA Motorsport. Rally Argentina 2017

Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson immediately found the right pace with their ŠKODA FABIA R5 and took the WRC2 lead without taking any big risks. Only Hubert Ptaszek / Maciek Sczepaniak, running a private ŠKODA FABIA R5, were able to follow the speed of the factory team from Sweden. But in the fourth stage they went off the road and had to retire for the day. After repairing the car, the privateers from Poland plan to rejoin the rally on Saturday under WRC2 regulations.

On Saturday the teams are heading north-west onto the challenging gravel roads of the Punilla Valley for the longest day of Rally Argentina. Again, the route features two identical loops with three stages each, covering 160 kilometres in total. The weather forecast expects hot and dry conditions.

Number of the day: 9

Fastest WRC2 competitor on all nine stages of Rally Argentina: So far nobody could beat Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson and their ŠKODA FABIA R5 on the tough gravel roads.

2018 Rally Argentina – WRC2 standings after Day 2:
1. Tidemand / Andersson (SWE/SWE) ŠKODA FABIA R5
1:36:25.1 h
2. Rovanperä/ Halttunen (SWE/SWE) ŠKODA FABIA R5 +20,2 s
3. Greensmith / Craig (GB/GB) Ford Fiesta R5 +1:27,0 min
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