for Rally Argentina leaderboard after SS1
Hyundai's Dani Sordo and Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier were joint quickest on Thursday evening as Rally Argentina got underway with the short opening stage in Cordoba city centre.
Sordo and Ogier both completed the 1.50km test in 1min 29secs, even though the latter reported making a mistake in his Polo R WRC.
“I lost a good second with a small mistake after the jump,” Ogier told the official WRC site. “Good to be the fastest but the real job starts tomorrow. A great atmosphere here tonight.”
“I'm feeling pretty good,” added Sordo, “but this is nothing compared to the rest of the rally.”
Ott Tanak was next up in third, just 0.1secs slower in his DMACK WRT Fiesta RS WRC, followed by Hyundai duo Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon, with Ford privateer Lorenzo Bertelli sixth.
M-Sport's Mads Ostberg and Eric Camilli completed the top eight, while Andreas Mikkelsen and Jari-Matti Latvala were only 11th and 12th, behind WRC2 runners Nicolas Fuchs and Elfyn Evans.
“I got caught out here,” Latvala admitted. “I almost overshot a junction. I went wide and nearly stalled.”
Rally Argentina now begins 'proper' on Friday, with two loops of four stages on the bill, totalling just over 150 kilometres. SS2, the 24.71km Soconcho-Villa del Dique 1 test, is due to start at 08.18 hours local time [12.18 hours UK time].