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Latvala boosted by Rally Finland podium

BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Jari-Matti Latvala overcame the 'biggest pressure' of his life and a severe stomach upset to notch up a confidence boosting rostrum finish on the Neste Oil Rally Finland on Sunday.

Latvala went into his home event, the ninth round in the 2009 World Rally Championship, determined to get a solid result after his final stage blunder in Poland, which cost him and the M-Sport-run outfit second place and eight championship points.

The 24-year-old held fourth for most of the opening leg, but his chance of improving looked slim when he fell ill on Saturday morning and was left feeling drained and unable to drive at full speed.

However he recovered quickly and as the day progressed, so did his health and his stage times. He then received the ideal tonic by climbing into third during the afternoon and maintained a fast but cautious pace for the rest of the rally to secure P3, 16.2 seconds up on Citroen's Dani Sordo.

"It's one of the highlights of my career to finish on the podium on my home rally," Latvala said. "After my mistake on the final stage in Poland last month, I was under the biggest pressure of my life here and it took time to regain my rhythm and confidence. That was why I couldn't find the right feeling on the Friday.

"Also there was the famous Mökkiperä stage where I crashed three times so that was a little demon I had to watch out for. I managed to overcome that and then I got a better feeling.

"But then we had another thing on the Saturday morning when I felt really sick. So sick in fact that I didn't even know if I would be able to drive the car, but I managed to keep going and overtaking Dani to move into third was a turning point. My times became better and better from then on.

"Both of us wanted to be on the podium but you have to be clever and not do anything stupid. That's why I was really happy with this rally.

"Okay, even in Friday's loop Dani was 10 seconds ahead but I was able to use my head to think about it. I thought, okay, if it doesn't happen now we have some stages to come on Saturday to be able to take it.




Related Pictures

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Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Podium, Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
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), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Jukka KETOMÄKI (FIN) - Jarkko ALANEN (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Hiroki ARAI (JPN) - Glenn MACNEALL (AUS) Ford Fiesta R5, Tommi Mäkinen Racing
12.02.2017 - Alexey LUKYANUK (RUS) - Alexey ARNAUTOV (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE) - Joakim SJÖBERG (SWE) Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE)  Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Jarosław KOLTUN (POL) - Ireneusz PLESKOT (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, C‐Rally

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