8 June 2014
Rally Italia Sardegna: Disappointment for Latvala
Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala misses out on victory on Rally Italia Sardegna, round six of WRC 2014: “We led since Friday and were in with a good chance of winning here. Unfortunately Saturday's skid and the resulting puncture dashed any hopes of victory...”
Jari-Matti Latvala had to settle for third place on Rally Italia Sardegna and at the finish admitted he can't really be too happy with that, given he had a 'good chance' of winning again.
Latvala looked strong at the end of Friday, finishing it with a 22.4 second cushion over his Volkswagen team-mate, Sebastien Ogier. However the Finn was unable to stay ahead on Saturday, and saw his lead eroded in SS11, when his engine overheated – it later turned out it was nothing more than a faulty sensor – and then lost more time in SS12, when he stalled. At this point, though, he was still ahead, but then came the crucial error in SS13, when he hit a rock and damaged a wheel. The Finn had to stop and replace it, losing over 2 minutes and that dropped him down to third.
On the final day, Latvala tried to overhaul Mads Ostberg for second, but was unable to do so, although he did cut the gap from 21.3 seconds to 9.7 at the finish – and won two more stages, taking his tally to seven stage wins from 17.
He also finished second in the Power Stage to bag two bonus points but now loses further ground to Ogier in the title race, with the Frenchman increasing his lead to 33 points. Latvala had cut the gap to 24 after his win last month in Argentina.
“I can't really be too happy with third place,” Latvala lamented. “We led since Friday and were in with a good chance of winning here. Unfortunately Saturday's skid and the resulting puncture dashed any hopes of victory.”
“We tried to catch Mads Ostberg on Sunday, but his lead was too big,” he added. “However, we did pick up two bonus points on the Power Stage.”
So what positives can he take from Sardinia?
“As far as pace is concerned, we were very good here. There is no doubting that,” he continued.
“This [result] has obviously not made the situation in the championship any easier, but there are still seven rallies to go.
“We must look ahead now to those.”
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