SS13: Latvala snatches third place

Sixth stage win for flying Finn moves him ahead of Ostberg


By Franck Drui

10 March 2012 - 15:08
SS13: Latvala snatches third place

Jari-Matti Latvala has demoted Mads Ostberg for third place on Rally Guanajuato Mexico with his sixth stage win on round three of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia.

As a result, the factory Ford driver is now 1m20.1s behind overall leader Sebastien Loeb, who was 7.8s slower in his works Citroen.

“Loeb has always been very fast in this stage and I’ve never been so competitive on this stage against him,” said Latvala. “It was slippery on some of the corners because of the [overnight] rain but it has been good.”

A frustrated Ostberg could only manage the sixth fastest time in his Adapta Fiesta. He said: “For sure I’m not happy to lose the position. At the beginning the [low] sun was against the screen and it was very difficult because it was also dusty inside.”

Loeb reported losing time towards the end of the stage in the damper sections, while team-mate Mikko Hirvonen, who was 5.3s slower than Latvala, continues to hold second in the overall classification.

Chris Atkinson said he had struggled for visibility in the early morning low-lying sun. He was seventh quickest.

Monster team-mate Ken Block completed the run with minor rear bodywork damage on his Fiesta. “The car stepped out on a tight left corner but it was no big deal,” said the American. “It’s my favourite stage here but it was hard to do before the sun comes up. I really enjoyed it though.”

WRC Team MINI Portugal’s Paulo Nobre, running first on the road, said he was struggling to restore his confidence on his return under Rally 2 regulations following his hefty crash on Friday.


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