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Rally Australia: Latvala: Difficult to comprehend Volkswagen exit

Jari-Matti Latvala says Volkswagen's decision to withdraw from WRC came as a shock and despite his disappointment wants to put on a show in his final outing.
Jari-Matti Latvala says Volkswagen's decision to withdraw its WRC commitments came as a nasty shock and despite his disappointment wants to put on a show in his final outing for the German manufacturer.

Earlier this month the Volkswagen Group confirmed its factory team would be leaving the World Rally Championship at the end of 2016, binning its 2017 challenger in the final stages of development, leaving Latvala, Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen all without drives for next season.

The Finnish driver has admitted he's found it hard to accept the decision but wants to go out on a high after a difficult WRC campaign.

“Last week's news was far from pleasant. It is very difficult to comprehend the magnitude of this decision in such a short time,” Latvala said. “I can only repeat that I will always remember the time at Volkswagen Motorsport. The many great moments mean a lot to me, and I would like to thank everyone in the team.

“It is now my duty to focus fully on the season finale in Australia again. I am really determined to do well in my last rally with Volkswagen, and will push hard to try to challenge for the win. My season has not been easy, so a good result in Australia would be doubly nice – particularly as a farewell present to the team.”

Aside from winning Rally Mexico and taking runner-up spots in Italy and Finland, Latvala has endured an inconsistent season and currently stands sixth in the drivers' championship and is set to record his worst year in WRC since 2007.

The experienced WRC campaigner has finished Rally Australia in second place on three separate occasions (2011, 2014 and 2015) and is nine points off of Hyundai's Dani Sordo for fifth place in the drives' championship.
by Haydn Cobb



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