WRC » Latvala tops Portuguese qualifying

Jari-Matti Latvala quickest through the Rally Portugal qualifying stage

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March 28, 2012 1:23 PM
Last Edited 1415 days ago

This is Fantastic news and possibly blocks out Citroens Options

Ford need to make the most of this situation. Jari-Matti seems to favour running as far back as possible and will probably choose not to run 1st on the road which would insure he would get no dust on the 3 night stages

But Ford need to make sure Petter takes this honour so as to potentially plug any lost opportunities by covering their bases and deny giving Citroen the chance to steel a possible tactical advantage. I think running 1st could indeed turn out to be the best position

There are 4 stages tomorrow starting with one short 3km stage followed by 3 stages all run in the dark totalling almost 36km, its not rocket science, just look at the picture to the left and imagine it being dark with all that dust too....

stefanvv - Unregistered

March 28, 2012 1:51 PM

There will be some compromise in choosing the right road position. Perhaps possibility to loose time in the dust clouds neglates the time lost cleaning the road. I rarely have seen dust cloud problems like first day in Spain last year, and after the organisers considering one more minute between runs, looked like the danger has gone.


March 28, 2012 2:17 PM

Its a tough call, I have not seen the stages, but I have a feeling the dust will be a problem (obviosly so do Citroen). Extra Grip is no good if your not accelerating hard, or of you are braking because you cant see the road anymore

Lets hope that the organisers allow 4 minute Gaps and there is no dust for the drivers to deal with. If there is no dust I cant see how Mikko thinks he could pull back what could be well over 30 seconds running 1st on the road if there turns out to be no dust and Citroens plan backfires on them

Above all I hope that the Ford boys can get out Infront and stay there for the duration of the Rally, as a Welshman I like it when we beat the French - in Rugby or Rallying !


March 28, 2012 2:18 PM

The drivers have picked their start position for tomorrows stages. Petter will run as car 16 on the road, while Latvala will be car 17. Hirvonen decided to be number 1 and Loeb number 2. The organiser will water the stages before the start, and that will probably help a lot with the dust.

MKD - Unregistered

March 28, 2012 4:37 PM

If there is no dust then Hirvonen is in pretty bad situation but Loeb is perfectly postioned. He had led rallies from 1st position this will be easy task for him. Still, it's hard to believe that there won't be any dust and then Latvala is in big trouble with some relatively slower drivers in front of him.

stefanvv - Unregistered

March 28, 2012 9:02 PM

These are very interesting choices. Either the Fords will benefit, or Citroens. Obviously the Citroens are relying on dust clouds to be there after them, but seems Loeb will be in worse position than Hirvonen then. Probably Fords made the right choice considering the organisers will comply with this situation.

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