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WRC Rally Argentina 2013: Latvala opts to start 12th

1 May 2013

Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala has chosen to run 12th in the order on the opening day of Rally Argentina.

Latvala got first pick after just edging out Sebastien Loeb in qualifying and as is usually the case, he has opted to start as far back as he can as those ahead will then sweep the road and clean the line.

“Of course I'm delighted to have recorded my first qualifying best time for Volkswagen, giving me first choice when it comes to starting positions," said Latvala. "Generally speaking, there is an advantage in starting gravel stages as far as possible towards the back of the grid. It might be better to tackle the course first in heavy rain, but there's not much chance of rain tomorrow, which is why we picked the last starting position.

"Inspecting the stages has shown that the roads are tougher than they have been in recent years and will demand a lot of our Polo R WRC.

"I've managed to keep up with the speed pretty well here in Argentina in the past but have never achieved a really good result, so I'll be aiming for a place on the podium again.”

Behind, Loeb meanwhile followed suit and will run 11th. The pattern was then replicated for all the runners, with the exception of Evgeny Novikov. The Russian could have gone fifth, but instead elected to be the first on the road.

“I only had two options. I could have opted for first or fifth on the road and, to me, first makes the most sense for two reasons. Firstly, all the guys in front would have had a completely different line to me and, secondly, there will not be any stones pulled onto the road by cars ahead,” he explained to the official WRC site.

Rally Argentina now gets underway later on today with SS1 - the short 6.04 km super special - running at 16.00 hours local time.

Rally Argentina: Day 1 running order:

1. Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC M
2. Gabriel Pozzo Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC T
3. Michal Kosciuszko Lotos Team WRC MINI John Cooper Works WRC T
4. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC T
5. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC T
6. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC T
7. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC M
8. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC M
9. Dani Sordo Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC T
10. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC M
11. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC M
12. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC M