Jari-Matti Latvala says the second day of Rally Jordan is likely to be the one where the outcome of Rally Jordan is decided, with crews set to tackle one of the longest stages of the season on the fourth round of the year.
Friday's stages include two runs through the 41.45km Jordan River test, with those two stages alone being longer than the six stages that drivers will face on Thursday's opening leg.
Ford driver Latvala heads into the event having joined team-mate Mikko Hirvonen for four days of testing in Spain, where the team focused on working with the new Michelin tyres it will use for the first time this weekend.
Having been encouraged by the performance of the new rubber, Latvala heads to Jordan in confident mood although he admits that it those two runs through Jordan River where the winner of the event is likely to emerge.
"We worked with the tyres and the set-up of the differentials and suspension on rough roads," he said in reference to the test. "I had a very positive feeling with Michelin's new tyres. Initially they felt slightly heavier, but once they warmed up the feeling was the same as the older ones and the performance was as good.
"It was one of the longest and hardest tests I have ever completed, but I'm really happy with the outcome. We even tried driving with a flat tyre to replicate what could happen if we puncture during a stage, and I was also encouraged by that.
"Jordan is one of the most difficult rounds of the championship, especially the Jordan River stage which is more than 40km. That's where the big time gaps could appear and the two passes over that test in the second leg could be where the rally is won and lost.”