SS7: Latvala continues to fly

Recovering Finn takes stage win as Loeb grows overall advantage


By Franck Drui

9 March 2012 - 22:40
SS7: Latvala continues to fly

Jari-Matti Latvala has continued his impressive recovery on Rally Guanajuato Mexico by winning stage seven in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

The Finn, who dropped out of the lead on stage five when his car suffered a broken front-right suspension arm caused by an impact with a rock, was 4.2s faster than five-time Mexico winner and event leader Sebastien Loeb. As a result he moves up to fourth overall behind third-placed Mads Ostberg, albeit 1m21.1s adrift of Loeb.

French hero Loeb continues to head the battle for supremacy within the factory Citroen team in first position after going 1.5s faster than team-mate Mikko Hirvonen. It means he has grown his overall advantage to 3.7s.

“We have to go on the limit because Mikko keeps pushing and Jari-Matti is very fast but it’s okay,” said Loeb.

Hirvonen added: “I really tried to push but Seb pushed and took one second out of me. I guess he knows how to push in this car but I’m happy.”

Chris Atkinson said he has been “annoyed” that he’s not been able to match the pace of some of the leading drivers on his WRC return in a Monster World Rally Team Fiesta. “I don’t know why, we’ll have to keep working,” said the Australian, who was ninth quickest.

Armindo Araujo reported his MINI John Cooper Works WRC has been restored to full working order following earlier troubles. “The car is better now, we are making some adjustments and it’s working well,” said the Portuguese ace.


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