Stobart Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala has admitted that he was 'very unhappy' to have to retire from the Rallye Monte Carlo, after an error in the final 'proper' stage of the event.
Latvala, who had been running ninth overall and who stood a chance of taking one drivers' point, slid wide on some loose gravel on the second run through the 18.76 kilometre Lamastre-St Barthelemy Grozon test, SS14. The Finn hit a stone wall as a result and damaged the front right and rear of his Ford Focus WRC car, losing two minutes. Although he still managed to complete the test, he was not able to finish the event as the roll cage was affected.
"I'm so disappointed after yesterday [Saturday]. The rally had been going so well for me and it looked good for me to take a drivers point but I got caught out with some gravel and slid into a small stone wall," he noted. "I was really happy with the car during the rally it took me a while to adjust my driving style but the last half of the event felt really god for me. I was delighted to set some fast times but very unhappy with how the event finished. Now I am really looking forward to Sweden and Norway!"
Ford/M-Sport boss, Malcolm Wilson was not impressed, especially as Latvala was leading the way for the Stobart team, although he did try and look on the bright side and the fact the Finn did all the stages, bar the super special, and set a number of good stage times, including two top three times, was some consolation.
"I am very disappointed with what happened to Jari-Matti on the final stage on Saturday. It's highly frustrating after his superb performance to go and throw it all away on the last proper test. The only consolation is that he did get to complete all of the proper stages," summed up Wilson Sr.