Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier took the early lead this evening on Rally Argentina by winning the short opening super special stage near Merlo.

Ogier completed the 2.68km test in 2 minutes 32 seconds, shading Citroen's Kris Meeke, who he was paired with by 0.2 seconds. VW Motorsport II driver Andreas Mikkelsen also recorded a time 0.2s slower to tie for P2 with Meeke.

"A nice start to the rally, but we still have some hard days ahead of us - with very tough and raw conditions out on the route," Ogier said.

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"We must first overcome this challenge, then we'll see how we are doing. However, I want to win this rally, just as I want to win every rally."

"A nice start, and typical of the Rally Argentina: huge crowds and plenty of enthusiasm," Mikkelsen added. "We came through the first special stage without any problems. I braked a little bit too late at one point, but that is not so important now - tomorrow we get down to the serious business with some really tough special stages."

Meanwhile, Jari-Matti Latvala came in fourth in his Polo R WRC, with Hyundai duo Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville fifth and sixth ahead Lorenzo Bertelli and Mads Ostberg. Hayden Paddon was ninth with Martin Prokop and Ott Tanak joint tenth.

"It is always nice to return to somewhere you have enjoyed success in the past," Latvala noted. "We made a good start to the Rally Argentina, although that was only really a taste of things to come. I am happy. The big chunks of special stage start tomorrow."

The action now continues on Friday with five stages on the bill and a total competitive distance of 149.44 km.

SS2, the long 51.99km Agua de Oro-Ascochinga 1, is scheduled to start at 08.23 hours local time [12.23 hours UK time]. Full itinerary for event available - HERE.

2015 Rally Argentina: Overall standings after Stage 1 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2m 32.0s M
2. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +0m 0.2s M
= Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +0m 0.2s M
4. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +0m 0.3s M
5. Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +0m 1.0s M
6. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +0m 1.1s M
7. Lorenzo Bertelli Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 1.6s M
8. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +0m 1.8s M
9. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +0m 02.8s M
10. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 3.5s M
= Ott Tanak M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 3.5s M


12. Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta RRC +0m 3.9s WRC2
13. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 04.3s M

WRC2 standings after Stage 1 (Top 3):

1. Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta RRC 2m 35.9s WRC2
2. Diego Dominguez Ford Fiesta R5 +0m 02.2s WRC2
3. Stephane Lefebvre Citroen DS3 R5 0m 02.4s WRC2

Notable retirements:


M denotes Manufacturer entry

all times unofficial