SS15: More bad luck for Latvala

Ford’s Finn concedes hopes of beating Citroen star Loeb for victory are over


By Franck Drui

10 March 2012 - 19:16
SS15: More bad luck for Latvala

Jari-Matti Latvala has admitted his outside hopes of winning Rally Guanajuato Mexico are over after he broke the front-left wheel on his Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

The Rally Sweden winner had been on a charge to recover the time lost with a broken front suspension arm on day one of the third round of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia. However, he lost almost 50s to leader and stage winner Sebastien Loeb when the broken wheel led to a loss of air in his front-left tyre.

“Now we can forget the fight for the first two positions, I’ve tried but that is the conclusion,” said Latvala, who is now 2m15.2s off top spot. “We went over some bed rock on the inside of the corner. It broke the wheel, not the tyre but the air came out. We did 25 kilometres on this tyre. Now we need to concentrate to get third place.”

Latvala’s team-mate Petter Solberg has moved into third, climbing ahead of countryman Mads Ostberg and Latvala to snatch the final podium spot.

“I was very pleased with that driving,” said Solberg, who was second fastest through the stage. “I must say the brakes are working very good now and we made some changes in service, which helped a lot.”

Ott Tanak lost vital time with a front-left puncture early in the stage. As a result his advantage over M-Sport team-mate Evgeny Novikov is down to 4.2s.


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