Volkswagen driver Jari-Matti Latvala was pleased to get back on the podium on Rallye de France last weekend and has said the result will give him a 'lot of confidence' for the two remaining rounds in Spain and Wales.
Latvala has endured a difficult run since his last podium in Sardinia back in June and that made his performance in Alsace all the more significant.
The Finn ran in the top-three in his Polo R WRC for much of the event and in the end posted top-three times on twelve of the 20 stages. He was also very pleased not to have any moments throughout the four-days.
“I am very happy with [my] third place,” Latvala said following the eleventh round in the 2013 World Rally Championship. “The poor run over the last three rallies was difficult, and I am glad to have come out the other end.
“We produced a flawless display and were consistently quick. That gives me a lot of confidence for the forthcoming rallies.”
“It has been the most consistent rally for me since Rally GB last year – and that's a long time ago, one year ago,” he added. “I'm very happy with the fact that I was able to push and with good speed on the wet and changing conditions on tarmac.
“Okay, this morning, on the muddy conditions I had no chance against Sebastien [Ogier]. He had incredible speed. He was flying and when I saw [Sebastien] Loeb out of the road, I also backed off because I started to think more about the points and try to be clever and not to do the mistakes I did in the past.
“We didn't have any moments [during this event] - and it's [actually] the first rally being on the podium without any moments!”
So what does it mean to him not to have had any scares? “If you think about the World Rally Championship, nowadays, if you want to win it, you need to be consistent," Latvala explained. "You see how many rallies Seb [Ogier] has won [this season]. He did only one mistake in Germany. You have to be consistent even if you're not having a great day or have the best speed to fight for the victory.”
Meanwhile, Latvala concluded by paying homage to his team-mates: “Congratulations to Seb [Ogier] and [his co-driver] Julien [Ingrassia], they were the best this weekend and fully deserved both their win and the World Championship title. They have proven this season that they are outstanding in all conditions and on all surfaces."
"Now, the Manufacturers' Championship is looking good [too for Volkswagen] so I hope that in Catalunya I will be able to concentrate on the Drivers' Championship and be more relaxed,” Latvala summed-up.