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Ford: Latvala will race in Argentina

Jari-Matti Latvala will drive for BP Ford Abu Dhabi on the next round of the World Rally Championship in Argentina after more details about his huge accident in Portugal came to light.

The Finn was leading heading into SS4 but a misjudged corner saw him clip a bank and be catapulted over the crash barrier, where he subsequently barrel-rolled down a hill more than a dozen times. Latvala went on to describe it as the biggest accident of his career.

A third crash in four rallies for Latvala, initially team manager Malcolm Wilson admitted his position at Ford would be 'reviewed', but after viewing footage of the spectacular accident, he has decided to give his driver a stay of execution for the next round.

Praising the strength and safety of the Focus RS WRC, Wilson insists he has '100 per cent confidence' in Latvala.

"Jari-Matti's accident has taken away our team strength and put the pressure onto Mikko, but he copes well with it. He must try everything to win this rally and both he and the car have shown good pace here.

"We were happy with Jari-Matti's times. He wasn't going crazy but crashed at a slow corner where he had a double caution in his pace notes. Firstly, we're all relieved that both he and Miikka escaped injury. It was an incredible accident and the fact they are both unhurt is testament to the strength of the Focus RS WRC. They owe their lives to that. It is a tribute to the skill and many hours of hard work put in by the team in designing and developing such a robust car that they climbed out uninjured.

"The crash was a huge disappointment. Jari-Matti was comfortable and we felt he was under control. We need to look at what happened and work with him to find the answers. He will drive for the team in Argentina as planned and I have 100 per cent confidence in his abilities."


Related Pictures

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Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Monza, [Credit: Hyundai Motorsport]
Podium 1st Australian - Molly Taylor (AUS) Bill Hayes (AUS) Subaru Impreza WRX Sti
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
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, 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
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

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june - Unregistered

April 04, 2009 7:11 PM

Good to see the team supporting him.Hirvonen went through a similar patch with subaru.JML is a hot talent and he'll recover. He's still young.Timo Jouhki and Ford have put a lot into him,so hopefully he can get it together. Tough young Finn!



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