Jari-Matti Latvala leaps and bounds ahead of Sebastien Ogier
Jari-Matti Latvala mastered his home Rally of Finland on Friday when he out-paced -- and out-jumped -- world champion teammate Sebastien Ogier to take a 2.6sec lead.
Jyvaskyla: Jari-Matti Latvala mastered his home Rally of Finland on Friday when he out-paced -- and out-jumped -- world champion teammate Sebastien Ogier to take a 2.6sec lead.
Latvala starred on the Ouninpohja stage, where cars regularly leap into the air as they speed across the gruelling gravel track, to claim the 400th stage win of his career.
Fellow Volkswagen driver Ogier had led overnight but Britain`s Kris Meeke, in a Citroen, briefly held the lead before the world champion swept back to the top of the standings, moving 5.3sec clear at the end of the morning.
But Latvala eventually nibbled away into Ogier`s lead to hold the advantage going into Saturday after a day when the two men shared eight of Friday`s nine stages.
"I have never driven that stage so fast. I almost made myself scared in a couple of places because I had so much air over the jumps," said Latvala of his experience of the Ouninpohja stage.
"It was the best stage of an afternoon that went extremely well."
Meeke was third at the end of Friday`s action but 24 seconds off the lead with Mads Ostberg, Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo filling out the top six.