Latvala still out front after Saturday’s opening loop
News after SS14
Jari-Matti Latvala responded to the rapid pace of the Citroens on SS13 by flooring his Ford Focus RS WRC though SS14 and taking a remarkable stage win.
On one of the fastest stages of the rally, peppered with blind crests and sweeping corners, the Finn was 7.3sec quicker than anybody else. The time edged him further ahead at the top of the leaderboard and sent a clear signal to the Citroen C4 WRC driver behind him - Sebastien Ogier - who now lies 22.5sec adrift.
Latvala said: “I’m happy with how things have gone so far today. The first stage went well but on the second I lost out to the factory Citroens and I didn’t know why. Maybe it was the drier road, I don’t know, but I was a bit angry. When I saw the road [on SS14] was a bit damp I really pushed hard and took some risks. It went well, but I’m not able to relax yet.”
With five stages to go, however, Sebastien Ogier’s co-driver Julien Ingrassia suggested that the fight for the lead was already over. “We did what we could on the first passes - that was when we had the road position advantage - now we have to remember that we have to finish. We will continue to push him, of course, but we will not take any risks. We have to be here at the end.”
Ogier’s team-mate Sebastien Loeb was third quickest through the stage and edged closer to Petter Solberg in the overall standings. Heading back to Jyvaskyla for the 30-minute service before SS15, Loeb trailed Solberg by just 4.5sec.
“Like yesterday I lost time on the stages I haven’t done before. And okay, I lost a little bit too much on one of them,” said Solberg. “Maybe road cleaning was a factor, I don’t know, but the car worked well. This afternoon should be better. Now I have to try to keep my place, it will be a very tough five stages, but there are many kilometres to go. I will try hard. A podium is the main thing now.”
Citroen Junior team driver Dani Sordo rounds off the top five places, 33.7seconds behind Loeb.
Overall standings after SS14:
|01||Jari-Matti LATVALA||Ford Focus WRC||1h40m28.7s|
|02||Sébastien OGIER||Citroën C4 WRC||+22.5s|
|03||Petter SOLBERG||Citroën C4 WRC||+28.6s|
|04||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën C4 WRC||+33.1s|
|05||Dani SORDO||Citroën C4 WRC||+1m06.8s|
|06||Matthew WILSON||Ford Focus WRC||+3m51.0s|
|07||Juha KANKKUNEN||Ford Focus WRC||+4m46.7s|
|08||Mads ÖTSBERG||Subaru Impreza WRC||+5m08.4s|
|09||Juho HÄNNINEN||Skoda Fabia S2000||+5m47.2s|
|10||Per Gunnar ANDERSSON||Skoda Fabia S2000||+6m35.5s|
|11||Patrik SANDELL||Skoda Fabia S2000||+7m16.3s|
|12||Toni GARDEMEISTER||Ford Fiesta S2000||+7m24.8s|
|13||Martin PROKOP||Ford Fiesta S2000||+8m21.8s|
|14||Janne TUOHINO||Ford Fiesta S2000||+8m41.1s|
|15||Mattias THERMAN||Ford Focus WRC||+8m55.9s|
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