Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala has said it was 'amazing' to win Rally Sweden, although he admitted it was 'no easy task' given the speed of team-mate, Andreas Mikkelsen.

Latvala eventually took the spoils by over 50 seconds, finally pulling out a cushion on Mikkelsen when the VW Motorsport II man made a mistake on Saturday morning and lost over 20 seconds in SS18, the 19.26 kilometre Torntorp 1 test.

"It's amazing to have won the Rally Sweden for the third time," said Latvala at the finish,. "This victory is especially important to me as I won my first ever WRC rally here in 2008."

"Clinching the victory was no easy task though - the difficult conditions and solid times from my team-mates meant that Miikka [Anttila - my co-driver] and I had concentrate fully and give it our best. Due to the thawing snow we drove over a lot of gravel and had to be shrewd when it came to sparing the tyres," continued the Finn, who now moves to the top of the 2014 WRC Drivers' Championship standings.

"Andreas Mikkelsen didn't make it easy on Friday - day two, he drove a strong rally and fully deserves to be on the podium [in second place]."

Latvala also praised Volkswagen for letting him and Mikkelsen slog it out: "It was brilliant that we were allowed to fight in out fairly and weren't obliged to bow to team orders and Volkswagen is unique in this format. It's down to this that I feel very content here," he added.

Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito meanwhile was delighted to see Latvala and Mikkelsen finish 1-2. He was also pleased to see Sebastien Ogier recover and finish sixth after the Frenchman's error in SS8 on Friday, which cost the 2013 WRC champion 4.5 minutes and any chance of winning.

"We have the best rally drivers in the world under contract and with the Polo R WRC, they had the quickest and most reliable car here in Sweden. We've always known this, but now the results tell you all you need to know," Capito reflected.

"Jari-Matti Latvala clinched this victory with a perfect performance, but he also had to fight it out. He went into battle with Andreas Mikkelsen, who impressed us all. Hats off to both of them, but also to S?bastien Ogier, ten fastest times and a strong comeback speak for themselves. On this occasion he didn't have the luck of the brave and has to come to terms with the fact that getting stuck in snow is a part of rallying.

"The team now has the luxurious problem of having to open the next rally in Mexico with the championship leader and second and fourth placed drivers in the standings. But we'll gladly put up with that.

"I am unbelievably proud of the result and of the team, whose hard work has paid dividends once again," Capito concluded.



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