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WRC Rally Argentina 2013: Latvala 'thrilled' with third place
5 May 2013
Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala was 'thrilled' after securing third place on Rally Argentina and said he reached a 'whole new level' on the final day.
Latvala's form on the opening two days in his Polo R WRC car was rather mixed, but he concluded the fifth round in the 2013 World Rally Championship extremely positively. Indeed he won all four stages on Saturday- including the Power Stage - to overhaul Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team man Evgeny Novikov and relegate the Russian to fourth.
It was Latvala's second podium result in as many events and a real boost to the Finn's often fragile confidence.
“Today was the best day's rallying since I joined Volkswagen. The team spirit, the car – everything reached a whole new level today, including the driver. I'm absolutely thrilled to be standing on the podium for the first time in Argentina,” Latvala said.
“Things often haven't gone that well here in the last few years, so I'm really pleased to have achieved my goal. “The rally was very exciting and varied. Especially in the final phase, we gave our all to secure third place.”
“We had a really great day fighting with Evgeny Novikov. I'm really happy with the fight with him. I've been up and down but the final day was really good,” he added.
Asked what changed on the last day, Latvala explained that he just managed to get the set-up right: “I came to this rally with completely new differentials and there were little things that we have to guess what we will do,” he stated. “When you change things you should test but we didn't have a test so it was a little bit of guessing with some of the set-ups and we also did some experiments with the suspension.
"Finally we got everything right for the last day but then I also had some issues on the first day with the handbrake [too], it wasn't working. I lost some time with that but then also my driving wasn't on the level of Seb [Loeb] and [Sebastian] Ogier [either] but then it was good. I just need more days like these.
“I have more confidence [now], the car seems to be performing well. We still have work to do. We need to sort out the problem with the handbrake, but the next gravel events are really nice and I'm looking forward to them,” he summed-up.