Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala
has said he is feeling 'totally relaxed' heading to Rally Sweden this week, where he will be targeting 'at least' a podium place.
The Finn was pleased to end his Rallye Monte Carlo jinx last month, coming away with a fifth place on the 2014 WRC season opener [see separate story - HERE
] and he is now looking to build on that in the only event in the WRC contested solely on ice and snow.
“I am hugely looking forward to Sweden, the snow and the fast straights,” said Latvala, prior to the second round in the 2014 World Rally Championship. “Last year I was still just getting used to the Polo R WRC and we did not have the perfect set-up for the car. This year we know the car really well and I feel right at home behind the wheel.
“Unlike the last two years, I am hardly under any pressure this time around [too], and travel to Sweden totally relaxed, having already put myself in a good position with fifth place at the 'Monte'.
“If you are able to enjoy a rally, then you are far more likely to succeed. I have my sights set on at least a podium,” he added.
Latvala has a good record in Sweden and took his debut WRC win on the event back in 2008. He also won in Karlstad in 2012 too, and was third in 2011 and 2010, and fourth twelve months ago. This will be his ninth Rally Sweden.
“Not a lot has changed at the Rally Sweden this year,” Latvala continued. “However, there is one change compared to last year's event: the 'Hara' special stage on Saturday. It is a short, quick special stage, which last featured on the itinerary back in 2007.
"[Overall it is] a fantastic route.”