15 June 2015
WRC Rally Italia Sardegna: Pace a positive for Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala: I should be happy with sixth place and a total of ten points after the Power Stage considering the problems I had this weekend in Sardinia...
Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala says he will take encouragement from his pace on Rally Italia Sardegna and is confident he can “build on that” in Poland.
Latvala had to settle for sixth in Sardinia – and two points from the Power Stage – after losing time with two punctures and then even more time on Saturday afternoon when he hit a rock and damaged the suspension on his Polo R WRC.
After his morale boosting win in Portugal, it was a disappointing follow-up, but the Finn nevertheless was happy with his speed and in total he won seven stages, the same as team-mate and event winner, Sebastien Ogier.
“The Polo R WRC continued to perform well on Sunday, but after Saturday's events it wasn't really possible to make up any ground. That's why we focussed on the Power Stage - successfully. All in all, I should be happy with sixth place and a total of ten points after the Power Stage considering the problems I had this weekend,” Latvala said.
“There are also some other positives to take away. We were fast over the entire distance. We can build on that for Poland. I'm looking forward to it already!”
Writing on his official Facebook page, Latvala added: “We can be happy that the pace was definitely there this weekend with seven stage wins. And, hey, that also means that we will come even stronger in Poland!”
Meanwhile, Volkswagen Motosport II driver Andreas Mikkelsen also had a difficult event, forced out on Friday after hitting a hole in the road and then forced out again on Saturday morning when he lost a wheel in SS13.
The Norwegian was eventually classified 36th under Rally 2, taking one manufacturers' point and also grabbing one drivers' point after coming home third in the Power Stage, a great result considering he was first in. Like Latvala, however, he is already looking ahead.
“It wasn't going to be possible to get anything other than points on the Power Stage on Sunday, so I really went for it. I did well, I didn't make any mistakes and did the best I could with the starting position. It's good that we took something that counts away,” Mikkelsen noted.
“Naturally I am disappointed that we had something of a difficult rally here, but we will learn from this. I'm already looking ahead to the next rally weekend in Poland. It suited me well last year and we staged a great duel with Sebastien for the win.”
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