Jari-Matti Latvala storms to brink of Rally of Finland triumph
Jari-Matti Latvala braved treacherous conditions to open up a 13.2sec lead over teammate and world champion Sebastien Ogier on Saturday and move to the brink of victory in the Rally of Finland.
Jyvaskyla: Jari-Matti Latvala braved treacherous conditions to open up a 13.2sec lead over teammate and world champion Sebastien Ogier on Saturday and move to the brink of victory in the Rally of Finland.
Latvala, a two-time winner of his home event, had been the overnight leader but his advantage over his Volkswagen teammate had been just 2.6sec.
The two men claimed two stage wins each on Saturday morning before Latvala sped away in the afternoon, making the most of seeing his French rival bounce off a rock which lost him crucial time.
"I knew it was time to attack in the afternoon and it went well, despite the rain," said Latvala.
"That was the turning point of the rally. You have to take risks at the speeds we`re at here. Some sections were wet and some dry, and it wasn`t easy when you`re at the maximum."
Ogier admitted his push for victory was slowed by a fear his Polo had punctured following the clash with the rock.
"I drove as hard as I could and have no regrets. Even if I finish second it`ll be a great result for the championship. I had a chance in the rain but missed it when I thought I had a puncture," he said.
Norway`s Mads Ostberg is third heading into Sunday`s final day but is 1min 14.8sec behind Ogier.
Ostberg inherited the place when Citroen team-mate Kris Meeke crashed and broke his left suspension.