With his Volkswagen team mate going on to win the 2013 Rally Finland this weekend, Jari-Matti Latvala
was left ruing a mistake early on the first day of the event that left him out of the running despite his best efforts to fight back under Rally 2 provisions.
"Generally speaking I am not happy, as I had come into the event with high hopes," signed the Finn. "My rally started with a mistake, which cost me any chance of a podium finish.
Latvala came undone on SS2 when he suffered suspension damage after hitting a rock that forced him out of the running for the rest of the day. That was much to the annoyance of his boss, Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito, who described the incident as "a frustrating mistake, which should not have happened."
Latvala explained that the incident happened "Just before the wide road, a right hand junction over crest, the car lifted a little and we went wide. We hit a stone and broke the suspension."
He was able to restart on Friday and went on to battle his way to 17th place by the finish, and he was able to demonstrate his genuine form when he finished the SS23 power stage through Painaa in third place to pick a consolation point.
"I was able to increase my pace by the time we reached the Power Stage at the end of the rally, and my co-driver Miikka Anttila and I still managed to score six points towards the Manufacturers' Championship," he pointed out, despite coming away feeling that he could have gone faster still.
"There were two or three corners where I lifted but I really could have gone flat out but I was braking too much," he admitted.
Otherwise it was a case of having to work hard to find even the thinnest of silver linings to the big black cloud of disappointment hanging over his head at the end of Rally Finland. "We also used the rally to try out different set-ups, in order to prepare for the coming rallies," he pointed out.
"We now move on to Volkswagen's home rally in Germany and I really hope to be back on the podium there.”