Jari-Matti Latvala insists the accidents he has suffered in the past two seasons in Portugal are firmly behind him as the Ford man prepares for the third round of the WRC season next weekend.

Latvala suffered one of the biggest accidents in recent WRC history back in 2009 when he rolled down a mountainside after going off the road while leading the event, and then crashed out of the event for the second successive season last year.

This year will be the Finn's fourth attempt at the event, with his best finish to date being eighth back in 2007, and he admits that the Portuguese stages are amongst the most challenging that drivers will face during the year ahead.

"Crashes are part of the sport and my accidents in Portugal are in the past," he said. "I prefer to focus on the future rather than what happened previously.

"It's the most difficult gravel rally of the season. The roads are narrow with many blind crests. Trees and stones line the stages, both on the inside of corners where a driver looks to make cuts, and on the outside where a car slides wide if a driver approaches too quickly. The roads have a clay surface which is hard in dry conditions and demanding on tyres. However, if it rains they quickly become muddy and slippery.

Latvala sits third in the standings after a brace of third place finishes so far this season in Sweden and Mexico with the new Ford Fiesta RS WRC.



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