Finland test crucial, says Latvala
Factory Ford driver eyes successful preparation for home WRC bid
Jari-Matti Latvala has identified Ford’s test in Finland this week as being crucial to his chances of success on his country’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship next month.
Latvala and factory Ford team-mate Petter Solberg are testing in Finland from 24-27 July on a mixture of roads around the town of Orivesi in preparation for Neste Oil Rally Finland, which gets underway on 1 August.
Speaking to WRC Live’s Becs Williams, Latvala said: “It’s a very important test to get everything ready for the rally. Last year I did not do a good test and was struggling in the rally so I know how important it is to get the testing right so you have the right confidence for your home event. The rally is so fast and only 300 kilometres so if you are hesitating you can’t get the time back you lose at the beginning. That’s why it’s important to get everything right before the rally.”
Latvala warmed up for his test by winning auto24 Rally Estonia Historic, a round of the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship, last weekend in a Ford Escort Mk2 BDA co-driven by countryman Asko Sairanen (pictured).
“It’s got a two-litre engine, five-speed synchro gearbox and the engine produces 287bhp and was revving to 10,500rpm in Estonia,” said Latvala, whose father Jari won the event in the same car last season. “It was hard work because there was no powersteering and there is no roof vent so the only air in the car is the hot air from the engine. It’s quite a hot car because of this but I enjoyed myself and it was nice and relaxing.”
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