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Latvala column: The only way is up!

Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team's Jari-Matti Latvala looks back on Rallye Deutschland, the ninth round in the 2011 World Rally Championship, in his latest exclusive column for Crash.net.
In Jari-Matti Latvala's latest exclusive column on Crash.net, the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team man reflects on Rallye Deutschland, where pretty much anything that could go wrong did...


Germany was obviously pretty tough for me, although it did start very well and it was great to win the opening test in my Ford Fiesta RS WRC car.

After that however we had a lot of problems and in the end it was probably one of the most difficult WRC events I have ever had since I became a factory driver.

Basically we were fighting with many, many different things - we hit rain on SS2, had a puncture on the third stage and engine problems in stages four, five and six. As a result I was 15th at the end of day one.

After that I had an upset stomach and was not feeling so good during the rest of the event. On Saturday afternoon we also picked up another puncture and went off because of that. Then on Sunday we had a third puncture.

A lot of people had punctures during the event and the Panzerplatte stage proved particularly decisive, costing Mikko [Hirvonen – my team-mate] third and Sébastien Loeb obviously lost the lead on the repeat run through it as SS14.

Michelin's asphalt tyre is very good though. Its gives the drivers' a good feeling - it is a bit like a circuit racing tyre.

The problems we had in Germany however were reminiscent to what we had at the beginning of the year with the gravel tyres.

Then Michelin was able to provide stronger ones from Jordan onwards and that was a big step forward. Indeed since then there have been no problems. If they can do the same with the tarmac tyres now it would be a big help.

Overall, as I explained, it was a very eventful three days for me and unfortunately it didn't bring many points. But we did see some positive things and I set three fastest stage times, as well as three seconds and two thirds, so we can see the car has great potential on tarmac.

The Fiesta RS WRC handles really well on asphalt. The turning is good and also the engine and gearbox is really strong. The car definitely has the speed to beat the Citroëns. We just need to finalise all the small details.




Related Pictures

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Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team logo
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

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Affro29

August 30, 2011 12:27 AM

@ Dafydd I'm sorry but I just don't agree. In sport you can punch above your weight if you get the basics right. Ford are getting the basic things all wrong. Did you watch coverage of Germany? Loeb was asked how his team got the weather call right when Ford got it all wrong. His grinning reply? "We watched the weather forecast on TV, we saw it would rain!" That's all it takes. I think they chose hard rubber as a gamble, because they knew it was the only way they had a chance of competing (if it stayed dry, against the forecasts!) . They admitted defeat before the start of the event. I have always loved Ford but... POOR POOR POOR

Etienne Prinsloo - Unregistered

August 25, 2011 2:41 PM

Ford got beaten by newcomers Mini quite comfortably. The company needs to do some serious soul searching starting with the ability of their drivers. They also seem to get the lion's share of the punctures- clearly attention to detail is SADLY lacking.As things currently stand they are racing for fourth place at best. You cannot compete if your only chance of winning is reliance on the opposition's odd mechanical failure.



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