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Latvala smiling again

Jari-Matti Latvala insisted that day two of Rally Argentina had put a smile back on his face after the young Finn climbed up into a podium position.

A puncture on day one had dropped Latvala back from the leaders, but the 24-year-old was unconcerned with his aim for the weekend being to simply bring home a finish following his recent run of poor luck.

Starting the morning in sixth place, Latvala made up one place during the opening loop of the day despite losing the bonnet on his car on SS10 after a pin holding the part in place came loose.

In the afternoon, Latvala climbed up into fourth ahead of Petter Solberg and then benefitted from the retirement of team-mate Mikko Hirvonen to end the day third – a position he will now hope to retain on the final day.

"We made the decision before the rally to drive steadily here,” he said. “I felt more confident this afternoon after making a few set-up changes to the car at lunchtime and I picked up the speed a little more. I have my feeling and rhythm back and I'm smiling again. It would be great to finish on the podium tomorrow.

"My plan is to keep this position. I'm 41 seconds behind Dani Sordo in second with 48km of stages remaining. That would mean gaining almost a second per kilometre and there's no real chance of that. There is no service during the day so we have five stages to tackle in succession. They are quite short and the conditions during the recce were okay so I'm not concerned about that."


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