Jari-Matti Latvala insists that he feels stronger for his finish on Rally Argentina, despite losing a possible podium on the final day of the event.
The young Finn headed to South America with his focus firmly on bringing home a finish after his dramatic roll out of the lead in Portugal, where he was lucky to escape serious injury after his Ford Focus went off the road and plunged 150 metres down a hillside.
Despite losing time on day one with a damaged tyre, Latvala had climbed back up to third place during day two but his hopes of bringing home a podium finish disappeared on the opening stage of day three, when a heavy landing saw the engine on the Focus shut down.
Having lost eight minutes as a result, Latvala dropped down the order and ended up with a sixth place finish – admitting afterwards that the finish had done wonders for his confidence.
"We came down a long straight and through a watersplash with two crests just afterwards,” he said of the final day incident. “The rear of the car hit the crown of one of the crests, a warning light came on and the engine stopped. I tried lots of different things to restart it before eventually rebooting the whole system, after which the engine fired up. It was just bad luck. I'm disappointed to lose the podium but pleased to finish.
"There are no scratches on the car and it was a positive weekend for us. I feel much stronger after this rally and I've learned a lot. I drove cautiously, adopting a different style, and it was successful. Our pace notes worked well and I feel everything is on course; my self-confidence is good again. It was good to learn what can and can't be done and to know my limits."