Latvala keen to maintain strongest startJari-Matti Latvala has vowed to maintain his strongest-ever start to a World Rally Championship season as he comes to the Rally Portugal just three points behind series leading team-mate Sebastien Ogier.

A win and a podium from the opening round events has seen Latvala take the fight to Volkswagen counterpart Ogier, though he arrives in Portugal admitting it hasn't been the easiest of events for him in the past.

Nonetheless, having finished third with Volkswagen in 2013, Latvala is confident of a similarly good result on this year's result in order to keep the pressure on Ogier.

Related Articles

"I have never made such a good start to a season - 60 points from three rallies and just three points behind the World Championship leader, my team-mate S?bastien Ogier. Last year I finished third at the Rally Portugal to claim my first podium with Volkswagen. In the past it has been a difficult rally for me.

"However, that 2013 result has given me a lot of confidence. I am looking forward to the rally and have a good feeling about it. We spent two days testing near to the special stages in Portugal. The conditions were typical for Portugal: dry, about 20 degrees Celsius, and on gravel roads with corners that are hard to see.

"I hope it will remain that way during the rally. It is usually dry in Portugal, but we have also had a few rainy events in the past. I have a completely different feel for the Polo R WRC this year. We have a well-oiled basic set-up and it is just a matter of making detailed improvements.

"As has so often been the case over the last ten years, my birthday falls on a rally weekend. As such, I am used to not partying too hard. Instead, it is a time for working hard. However, I am really looking forward to it, and would like to give myself a present in the form of a top-three finish."