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Latvala: Finland the one you want to win
31 July 2013
Jari-Matti Latvala insists that Rally Finland is the 'one that every driver wants to win' ahead of the latest round of the World Rally Championship this weekend.
The Finn has one win on his home event to his name already having taken victory with Ford back in 2010 and will now hope to add to that tally as he seeks to take his second win of the 2013 campaign.
Latvala's Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier has already said the 28-year-old will be one to watch
in the fight for honours and he admitted that he would be pushing all out to take victory.
“As far as the atmosphere is concerned, the Rally Finland is the best in the entire championship,” he said. “It is a prestigious rally – like the one in Monte Carlo – and one that every driver wants to win at least once. It is quite simply 'Formula 1 in the Forest'. The gaps between the drivers are very small and it is an exciting battle from the word go.
“You have to hit the ideal line in order to achieve the perfect jump or drift. The Recce is very important in order to be able to correctly assess the jumps. The braking points before and after the jumps are also very important. You have to hit the majority of jumps at full throttle. And if you want to win, you sometimes have to give 105 per cent.”
Alongside Ogier and Latvala, Andreas Mikkelsen will hope to impress in VW's second team and he said he hoped to benefit from the knowledge of his Finnish co-driver when the event gets underway.
“I have already taken part in the Rally Finland four times, but it is a while since I drove a World Rally Car there,” he said. “The speeds there are higher than at any other rally. I really like this kind of route, with its hard subsurface, and am very much looking forward to it.
“As a Finn, my co-driver Mikko Markkula knows the rally's special stages very well. He knows where you can drive fast and how to take the different corners. That is an advantage, as the rally really is out of the ordinary. 'Ouninpohja', for example, is a very special stage. There are so many fast crests and corners that you cannot see coming.
“For this reason, it is essential to get the pace notes spot on – if not, you will not be on the right line. If you don't get the entry correct, then you can find yourself flying off the road on the way out of the corner. You have to show a lot of courage.”