Latvala opts for back of the pack

Novikov selects first on the road

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By www.wrc.com

1 May 2013 - 20:20
Latvala opts for back of the pack

Rally Argentina qualifying stage winner Jari-Matti Latvala has decided to start as far down the order as possible in tomorrow’s opening leg.

With conditions currently dry and warm in the rally base of Carlos Paz, the Finn opted to start last of the 12 top priority drivers to take advantage of what he hopes will be the best road conditions.

The Volkswagen Polo R driver believes the early starters will sweep slippery loose gravel from the road surface to leave a cleaner and faster line from which he can benefit.

Not even the possibility of rain could deter Latvala from his chosen path.

“I think it’s better to start at the back,” he said. “The weather is dry and even though it may rain, I don’t think there will be much, so I think it will be alright.”

Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb, second in qualifying, will start immediately ahead of Latvala, with the second Polo R of Sebastien Ogier ahead of the nine-time world champion.

All the remaining drivers opted for the lowest position available except for Evgeny Novikov, who chose to start first in his Ford Fiesta RS.

“I only had two options,” said the Russian. “I could have opted for first or fifth on the road and, to me, first makes the most sense for two reasons. Firstly, all the guys in front would have had a completely different line to me and, secondly, there will not be any stones pulled onto the road by cars ahead.”

The start order is:

1. Evgeny Novikov
2. Gabriel Pozzo
3. Michal Kosciuszko
4. Martin Prokop
5. Andreas Mikkelsen
6. Thierry Neuville
7. Mads Ostberg
8. Mikko Hirvonen
9. Dani Sordo
10. Sebastien Ogier
11. Sebastien Loeb
12. Jari-Matti Latvala

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