Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Belgian Thierry Neuville in a Hyundai recorded the best time in the opening super special stage in Rally Argentina through the centre of Villa Carlos Paz on Thursday.
In a 1.9-kilometre sprint through the streets of the resort city in central Argentina, the Belgian edged Estonian Ott Tanak (Toyota) by three tenths of a second with French quintuple world champion Sebastien Ogier (M-Sport Ford) another tenth of a second back.
Ogier has the disadvantage of leading off on Friday, the first full day of racing when the rally heads south for two identical loops of gravelly terrain and a super-special of 6.04 kilometres.
Results of first stage on Thursday
1. Thierry Neuville-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL/Hyundai i20) 1min 54.4sec., 2. Ott Tanak-Martin Jarveoja (EST/Toyota Yaris) at 0.3sec., 3. Sebastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (FRA/Ford Fiesta) at 0.4sec., 4. Andreas Mikkelsen-Anders Jaeger (NOR/Hyundai i20) at 0.5 sec., 5. Kris Meeke-Paul Nagle (GBR-IRL/Citroen C3) at 0.7sec., 6. Esapekka Lappi-Janne Ferm (FIN/Toyota Yaris) at 1.3sec., 7. Teemu Suninen-Mikko Markkula (FIN/Ford Fiesta) at 1.4sec., 8. Dani Sordo-Carlos del Barrio (ESP/Hyundai i20) at 1.5sec., 9. Jari-Matti Latvala-Miikka Anttila (FIN/Toyota Yaris) at 1.6sec., 10. Elfyn Evans-Daniel Barritt (GBR/Ford Fiesta) at 2.2sec.