Sebastien Ogier breakdown allows Kris Meeke to take Argentina stage win
Last Updated: 24/04/15 7:44pm
Reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier saw his chances of winning the Rally of Argentina go up in smoke after he failed to finish the second special stage with a technical problem.
His early departure allowed Northern Ireland's Kris Meeke, in his Citroen DS3, to take the stage victory, more than 30 seconds in front of Spain's Dani Sordo in a Hyundai and Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala (Volkswagen).
Ogier’s Volkswagen Polo stopped 46 kilometres into the stage, following a technical problem.
"Everything went fine but after 10 km, we started losing power, like we were running on just three cylinders," the Frenchman said.
"That's sport, there's an element of luck. This time, it wasn't for us.
"The team will have to determine the source of the problem and if it's an electronic failure or a breakdown in the fuel supply, I will most likely be able to continue. If it's engine-based, I'll probably have to head home."
If the Polo is repaired, Ogier will be able to restart on Saturday, but with a 25-minute penalty, which would rule out any chance of him finishing high up the standings, save for an enormous surprise.
Belgium's Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) also saw his chances of victory effectively ended as he came home more than four minutes behind Meeke after suffering a puncture.
Ogier, the winner of the first three races of the season, won the first special stage ahead of Meeke on Thursday in the tourist centre of Merlo, 234 kilometres south of the race's Villa Carlos Paz base camp.