Sebastien Loeb will lead Rally Argentina into Saturday's stages by just 0.1sec over his Citroen teammate Mikko Hirvonen.
Although Loeb had rapidly surged back from fourth to first on the afternoon loop, he was a second slower than his Finnish stablemate on the Cosquin/Villa Allende stage that closed leg one, bringing the gap between them down to just a tenth. Loeb admitted at the end of the stage that he had lost confidence in the final miles.
The Citroen duo are now comfortably clear of Ford's Dani Sordo, who lost 20s to them on SS6 - both because his choice of hard tires proved less competitive than the Citroens' softs, and because he was ill at ease tackling the stage in the dark. Delays caused by the fuel tanker issue in the morning meant SS6 ran an hour later than originally scheduled.
Adapta Ford's Mads Ostberg is still 45s behind Sordo in fourth, and several minutes ahead of the rest of the depleted field.
Leading positions after SS6:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 2h20m30.6s
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 0.1s
3. Dani Sordo Ford + 33.1s
4. Mads Ostberg Adapta Ford + 1m18.4s
5. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar Citroen + 5m16.9s
6. Martin Prokop Czech Ford + 6m24.2s
7. Andreas Mikkelsen VW Skoda + 6m36.0s
8. Sebastien Ogier VW Skoda + 6m58.8s
9. Armindo Araujo Portugal Mini + 8m14.5s
10. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior + 10m13.2s