Juho Hanninen has extended his Intercontinental Rally Challenge points lead by clinching a dominant Rally Argentina victory, while reigning champion Kris Meeke was forced to retire at the end of the penultimate stage.
Skoda driver Hanninen dominated from the outset, winning 11 of the event's 13 full-length stages and gradually striding away from nearest rivals Meeke and Guy Wilks. The Finn's final winning margin was 51 seconds.
Meeke had led for Peugeot UK initially after winning Friday's superspecial, but could not keep pace with Hanninen over the weekend and had a variety of issues, starting with intermittent engine cut-outs that hampered him in his battle for second with Wilks (Skoda UK) on Saturday.
That was followed by a throttle sensor problem that saw him fall a minute adrift of Wilks this morning. Worse was to follow when Meeke suffered a broken steering joint and suspension on the penultimate stage, costing him four minutes and dropping him to sixth place. Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle did their utmost to try and fix the problem so they could get to the final superspecial, but eventually had to concede defeat and retire on the road section. Hanninen's teammate Jan Kopecky therefore moved up to third to complete an all-Skoda podium after a quietly consistent rally.