Jari-Matti Latvala says he wants to try and finish Rally Australia with "dignity" after his disappointing error in the very first test.

Latvala had been tipped to win by Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier, but dropped out of contention in SS1, the 7.88 km run through Utungun 1, after drifting wide and hitting the side of a bridge.

That incident damaged the left rear suspension on his Polo R WRC and while he was able to make repairs and continue, he lost around 8 minutes limping through the morning loop.

"I don't know how often I've been in this situation this year. No sooner had the rally got underway, than it was over for me again," lamented Latvala.

"I lost a bit of grip in a long right-hander just before a bridge on the opening stage, and caught the bridge with the rear-right tyre. It was not a big impact, but we suffered damaged suspension as a result and had lost a lot of time by the midday service.

"This is obviously not how we wanted to say goodbye to the team on our final appearance for Volkswagen. We must now end the rally with dignity."

Writing on his official Facebook page, after ending the day 16th overall - more than 5 minutes off Ford privateer Lorenzo Bertelli in tenth, the Finn added: "Not the way we wanted to start. We made a mistake and we broke the suspension in SS1.

"We lost quite a lot of time but we started to catch it back again in the afternoon. Let's continue like that tomorrow."


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