Ford number two Jari-Matti Latvala
says he will do all he can to aid team-mate Mikko Hirvonen
in his quest for the WRC title as the teams head to Spain this weekend for the penultimate round of the year.
Hirvonen will take a five point lead into the asphalt event after inheriting victory in Australia following a post-event penalty handed down to Sebastien Loeb, who remains the Finns closest challenger in the points with two rounds to go.
Both Hirvonen and Latvala have completed asphalt testing ahead of the Spanish event, with Latvala also spending two days of running with ex-Finnish touring Car Championship title winner Olli Haapalainen prior to taking part in the Spanish test.
Heading to Spain, Latvala said he was keen to improve on his sixth place finish last season and was fully focused on doing what he could to help Hirvonen become drivers' champion.
"After practising on a race circuit in Finland, I was able to work on what I learned on the roads in Spain,” he said. “Every year there is less and less opportunity to cut corners on this rally because barriers are placed on the inside of bends to prevent it. So the stages have become more and more comparable to a race circuit and the coaching I have done is perfect preparation for that type of road.
“This will be the BP Ford
Abu Dhabi World Rally Team's most difficult rally for some time, but I was really happy with my test and pleased with the car's set-up. I finished sixth last year and hope to improve on that. But my main target here is to again help Mikko. He is challenging for the title and I want to do all I can to support him and help him achieve that.”