Jari-Matti Latvala gave up his podium place on the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse on Sunday in order to help Mikko Hirvonen and the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.

Latvala's performance in Corsica was nothing short of superb and his speed improved as the event went on, culminating with a joint fastest time on SS15, with runaway winner, Sebastien Loeb.

The 23-year-old was involved in a fierce battle for most of the weekend with both works Subaru drivers but managed to comfortably come out well on top by the finish despite carrying two spare Pirelli PZero tyres most of the rally for safety, which weighed down his Stobart Ford Focus RS.

Speaking at the finish, after handing third to Hirvonen, the Finn noted that he was delighted with his performance.

Indeed he reckoned it was his best ever showing on asphalt, better even than his third place finish on the inaugural Rally Ireland last year.

"I have never enjoyed driving on tarmac so much in my life than this morning, it was absolutely brilliant and it just felt so easy," he stated. "I really have learnt so much in the last two weeks and now I know that I need to be really precise and not force the car.

"This is a fantastic result for me here and definitely my best ever on tarmac; I could have been on the podium, but the important thing is to keep Ford in with a chance of becoming champions again.

"I have had two great results in two weeks now and no-one can take that away from me."

Pressed on how he felt to miss out on taking P3, Jari added that while it was disappointing it was still a very good weekend overall.

"It's a team decision and while I'm disappointed not to be on the podium, it's been a very positive weekend. We have made a lot of progress on asphalt," he summed-up.



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