Latvala hails maiden Argentine podium
Volkswagen pilot all smiles after clean sweep of stage wins
Jari-Matti Latvala believes Saturday’s final leg of Rally Argentina, when he won all four stages to claim a podium place, was his best day with Volkswagen Motorsport.
After a troubled start to the season with his new team, the Finn finished third in Portugal last month before delivering a superb final day to recover from a puncture and take third in Argentina in his Polo R.
“Saturday was the best day’s rallying since I joined Volkswagen,” he said. “The team spirit, the car – everything reached a whole new level, including the driver. I was absolutely thrilled to stand on the podium for the first time. Things often haven’t gone that well here in the last few years, so I’m really pleased to have achieved my goal.”
After dropping almost two minutes on Friday when he stopped to replace a punctured tyre, Latvala relegated Evgeny Novikov from third. And the icing on the cake was fastest time in the final El Condor Power Stage, earning three bonus points.
“In the final phase, we gave our all to secure third place. We had a really great day fighting with Evgeny Novikov. I’m really happy with the fight with him. I’ve been up and down but the final day was really good,” said Latvala.
“The second time through the Mina Clavero stage, I came so fast over the bumps, taking risks because there were big stones and I was counting that the sand would keep us on the road.
“I couldn’t really increase the speed any more on that stage. That was the best that I could give and I thought if Evgeny is going to be quicker than I am, then maybe I can quit rally!”
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