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Latvala: It was a long and difficult weekend but…


Jari-Matti Latvala had difficult debut with the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team on the Rallye Monte Carlo - the opening round in the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship.

Latvala, who was promoted to the 'A' team this season on the back of his performances with the Stobart squad last year, saw his event get off to the worse possible start when he ran into trouble halfway through SS1 when he hit a rock in his Focus RS WRC car and had to stop to change the wheel.

Last year he would probably have got away with the incident, but with new rules banning puncture-resistant mousse inside the tyres he lost considerable time - around 3-4 minutes. Consequently he finished the opening day only just inside the top 20.

On day 2 he struggled to regain his confidence and while he set six top eight stage times and ended the day ninth and almost back on course for drivers' points, he wasn't at all happy.

Saturday though only got worse for the Finn and while he lost further time to the cars ahead when he suffered a hydraulic problem in the morning, it was a contact with a stone in SS12 that proved to be his undoing, damaging his front suspension and forcing him out of the leg.

Jari re-started on Sunday though under the SupeRally and he finally seemed to find a good rhythm, setting some good times, including a second best effort in SS18, the final 'proper' stage of the event.

"I made two mistakes and it was a long and difficult weekend," he conceded at the finish. "But I found good speed today [Sunday] and I was happy with my times. It's unfortunate they came three days too late. I've learned much about cutting corners with the new tyres - I can't afford to do that if I want to finish rallies. Today I also learned I have to be aggressive in turning for the tyres to work to their best."

BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director, Malcolm Wilson meanwhile reckoned that his new #2 driver will have gained a lot from his experiences over the last four days: "It was a steep learning curve for Jari-Matti - but he has drawn experience from the weekend and will feel the benefit later in the season," Wilson Sr summed-up.


Related Pictures

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Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) / Miikka Anttila (FIN), BP Ford Focus RS WRC 07. Rallye Monte Carlo, 24-27th January 2008.
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) / Miikka Anttila (FIN), BP Ford Focus RS WRC 07. Rallye Monte Carlo, 24-27th January 2008.
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) / Miikka Anttila (FIN), BP Ford Focus RS WRC 07. Rallye Monte Carlo, 24-27th January 2008.
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Hiroki ARAI (JPN) - Glenn MACNEALL (AUS) Ford Fiesta R5, Tommi Mäkinen Racing
12.02.2017 - Alexey LUKYANUK (RUS) - Alexey ARNAUTOV (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Jarosław KOLTUN (POL) - Ireneusz PLESKOT (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, C‐Rally
12.02.2017 - Eyvind BRYNILDSEN (NOR) - Anders FREDRIKSSON (SWE) Ford Fiesta R5 Adapta Motorsport AS
12.02.2017 - Podium WRC 2, 1st place Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport, 2nd place Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team

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