WRC Rally Australia: Nothing over until it is over – Latvala

Jari-Matti Latvala not giving up on 2014 WRC Drivers' title challenge just yet
Jari-Matti Latvala says he will keep fighting for the 2014 WRC Drivers' title, even though his chances are now much “weaker” following Rally Australia.

Latvala put up a good fight in Coffs Harbour, but in the end had to settle for second with team-mate and championship leader, Sebastien Ogier taking the victory. It means the Finn will go to Rallye de France next month 50 points behind and with just three events left – and a maximum 84 points up for grabs (25 for a win and 3 for winning the Power Stage) – it is not looking good.

Speaking immediately after the final stage, he seemed to have conceded defeat in the title battle. However, in the post-event press conference, his attitude was more upbeat.

“The chance is getting weaker, but nothing is over until it's over. As long as there's a chance then we keep on fighting,” he vowed.

“I'm really looking forward to going to France. I like driving on tarmac and I like the event there. The performance here with Miikka [Anttila – my co-driver] worked really well. Miikka had a fantastic rhythm and if we can maintain that and take the same feeling then we have a good chance to challenge again.”

Meanwhile, quizzed on if that wrong tyre choice on Saturday afternoon was the pivotal moment in the fight with Ogier for the victory in Australia, he added there were actually two moments.

“The first was when we had a problem with the brakes and we lost over seven seconds to Sebastien on the first stage,” he explained.

“Then on the second day, [as you said] I took the wrong tyres. We had the same forecast inside the team, but all three drivers went with different choices. Sebastien drove perfectly on those stages, he did a brilliant drive and I couldn't match him with the soft tyres at the rear. Maybe I should have thought a bit more. I can't change it though, it's history.

“This is [still] a big boost from this rally last year though. Last year we were fourth and one and a half or two minutes down.”
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC

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