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Clutch scare for Latvala.

Jari-Matti Latvala endured a stressful end to day two of the Wales Rally GB on Saturday, with a clutch problem en-route to the Cardiff super special threatening to undo all his hard work.

Latvala, who took the lead on Friday afternoon, hung onto the lead all day and while he did see his cushion cut back to just 0.8 seconds this morning in SS9, in the end, he concluded proceedings 7.3 seconds up on multiple world champion, Sebastien Loeb.

Speaking back in service in Swansea, Jari-Matti conceded that the problem on the liaison section to the Millennium Stadium was a drama he could have done without.

Indeed it cost him around 3 seconds at the start of that test as he struggled to get his Focus RS WRC car off the line.

"The traffic was very heavy in the centre of the city and we had to keep stopping and starting, using the clutch a lot. It began to smoke and I was worried that if I carried on driving it would be destroyed," he revealed.

"As such we pushed the car for 400 metres to the time control. It was very, very stressful."

That wasn't the only problem the 23-year-old had this afternoon either and he was lucky to get through SS13 - Halfway 2, when he brushed a barrier on a downhill section 1.5 kilometres in.

"It was under braking and we hit sheet ice," explained the BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT #2. "I couldn't do anything and we hit the barrier on my side of the car. Luckily we bounced back into the road so we didn't lose too much time.

"It's difficult to find the balance between attacking and staying on the road. I'm being pressured by those behind but I really want to win here for the team.

"However, we've had two tricky days and tomorrow will be just as hard."

BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson meanwhile agrees that the final day won't be easy: "The weather will still play a vital part in the result and from what I hear tomorrow is going to be treacherous and maybe provide a sting in the tail," Wilson Sr summed-up.

"It will be very hard for Jari-Matti being first on the road tomorrow but he doesn't seem worried. There's nearly 100km to go and with frost and ice out there it's going to be extremely difficult terrain to drive in."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC07, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Monza, [Credit: Hyundai Motorsport]
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Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Volkswagen
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Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
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Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC

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