Jari-Matti Latvala managed to secure fourth on the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse on Sunday, despite coming under immense pressure from Petter Solberg.

Latvala began the day just 7 seconds up on the Norwegian in his Stobart Ford Focus and while the gap remained fairly static on the first loop, Petter cut it to less than 4 seconds going into the final stage.

Jari though responded in Pont de Calzola-Agosta 2 and set his best stage time of the event, coming through the 31.81 kilometre test to post the third quickest effort and ensure he took the five points for fourth. He eventually beat 'Hollywood' by 11.6 seconds.

"This has been a fantastic day for me and a very important mark in my career," said the young Finn. "This is my best performance and best result on asphalt so far but the most important thing is my improvement on asphalt driving.

"I have been concentrating very hard on driving better, more controlled and less aggressive, and it really has been working.

"We came here with a lot of confidence from Spain which helped with our car set-up to start the rally. In Spain I was over three minutes behind the winner and now I am just over two behind, so the improvement is easy to see.

"I didn't concentrate on beating Petter today, I wasn't getting any of his split times, but just wanted to drive well and give my best performance. This has worked and I'm so pleased with this rally."

M-Sport boss, Malcolm Wilson meanwhile was clearly impressed with Jari's performance - something that will no doubt fuel speculation the Finn will be promoted to the Ford 'A' team next season to replace the retiring Marcus Gronholm. Indeed in total Latvala set 11 top 6 times from a possible 15.

"Jari-Matti has put in an incredible performance here. The way he has withstood the pressure today has been fantastic and the times he has set over all three days have been consistent and very quick indeed.

"We didn't give him any split times to Petter today but for sure this battle was in the back of his mind and he handled it superbly and with a mature head," concluded Wilson Sr.



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