Jari-Matti Latvala has admitted that he should have been more careful on day one of the Rally Ireland, which ended prematurely for him when he went off in the second test.
Latvala made a blistering start and having opted for Pirelli's Sottozero winter tyre on his Focus RS WRC08 the rewards were instant. Indeed despite treacherous conditions he easily topped the times in Glenboy 1 - 17.6 seconds up on Urmo Aava, who was 'best of the rest' and a stunning 42 seconds quicker than five-time world champion, Sebastien Loeb.
Disaster struck though in the next stage, when he aquaplaned off the road. His car took a heavy impact to the front left in the incident, puncturing the tyre and breaking both the track control arm and driveshaft. He dropped almost two minutes as a result and although he limped to the finish and tried to make repairs, his efforts were in vain and he retired on the road section to SS3.
The 23-year-old will now re-start tomorrow under the SupeRally rules from 26th position.
"I came into a fast left corner that tightened, with a bank on the outside. The car snapped sideways in the water and I tried to correct it, but in doing so I was forced to cut and the front left of the car hit a rock,” explained the BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT #2.
“The impact threw the car across the road and into the bank. I drove 10km to the finish with two punctures. The front left track control arm was broken and although we tried to fix it with straps, they weren't strong enough. The driveshaft also came out but we were able to repair it.
“I'm so disappointed and feel I have let the team down. I should have been more careful."