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Ott Tanak has claimed his first victory for Toyota Gazoo Racing with a flawless performance at Rally Argentina to close the gap on World Rally Championship title rivals Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville.

The Estonian driver rarely looked under threat for victory at the South American event after charging into the lead midway through the Friday morning loop before gradually building a comfortable gap to Neuville.

The Toyota driver kept clear of danger over Sunday’s final trio of stages before finishing fourth on the Power Stage to seal victory by 37.7 seconds from Neuville who clinched the Power Stage win to mark his best result since victory at Rally Sweden.

Dani Sordo completed a double podium for Hyundai 38 seconds behind teammate Neuville with Ogier a distant fourth place for M-Sport Ford to retain his championship lead having won three of the opening four rounds.

Andreas Mikkelsen rounded out a strong performance from Hyundai in fifth place, just four seconds off of Ogier at the finish, with Elfyn Evans a distant sixth place for M-Sport Ford.

Kris Meeke led the disappointing Citroen charge after losing almost three minutes with a puncture on SS14 to finish a lowly seventh place having challenged for the podium in the opening stages. Esapekka Lappi (Toyota) and Teemu Suninen (M-Spord Ford) rounded out the premier class points finishers in eighth and ninth respectively having seen Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala (suspension damage) and Citroen’s Craig Breen (damage) fail to finish.

Disaster struck WRC2 leader Kalle Rovanpera for Skoda after he crashed out of the event on the penultimate stage to hand teammate Pontus Tidemand victory.