Jari-Matti Latvala is feeling pretty bullish ahead of the RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada this week following some extra tuition on asphalt.

Latvala has struggled somewhat in the second half of the season and he will actually run under the Stobart banner on the Rally de Espana, with Francois Duval taking his place at the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - as he will do in Corsica next week too.

That will actually take some of the pressure of the young Finn though, who will be eager to try and score as he hasn't managed that since prior to the World Rally Championships summer break.

"The WRC season started on tarmac and on a new tyre and my confidence was not perfect. In Germany I felt the pressure after my accident in Finland but now I actually feel quite relaxed," Latvala noted in the countdown to round twelve.

"I have done five hours of asphalt training pre-Spain with one of Finland's top touring car drivers on a race track and there are quite a few things I have learnt, especially with my braking, which I know I can use on the next two tarmac rallies.

"I did the same training 12 months ago only this time I feel like I have taken a lot more from it.

"I have also been doing some drive days for Ford in a Fiesta and a Focus ST recently and okay they are not rally cars but I was able to practice what I learnt from the touring car which is more time and practice for me.

"I'm looking forward to Spain and Corsica because I like these rallies and now I will have had more time with the Pirelli PZero tyre so I will be more familiar with its actions."

Despite demoting Jari-Matti to the Blue Ovals 'B' team, Ford boss Malcolm Wilson believes the 23-year-old should be able to go well and he is also eager to see his son, Matthew Wilson, deliver too.

"The Stobart squad has been strengthened by Jari-Matti's return and I think this will give the team a really good chance to get some points and build on their great results from this season," Wilson Sr added.

"Both he and Matthew have been preparing hard for the two tarmac events and I know they are both focused on performing well over the next two weeks.

"If we have consistent conditions here in Spain then it will be to the team's advantage and it will give the drivers more confidence to push from the start and I hope the energy from our young squad will really shine through into solid finishes on Sunday afternoon."



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