Jari-Matti Latvala reckons he can go one better and challenge for victory on the remaining two asphalt rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship this season after claiming a career-best second on a sealed-surface WRC event in Germany on Sunday.
Tue 28.08.12, 6:06PM
Latvala, driving a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, finished runner-up to Sebastien Loeb, who made it win number nine on ADAC Rallye Deutschland with a dominant performance.
Despite trailing Loeb by more than two minutes following the 15-stage event in Trier, Latvala says he is confident of claiming his maiden win on Tarmac before the 2012 season is out.
“The distance between ourselves and the winner was two minutes so we need to remain realistic and understand that there is still work to do,” said the Finn, whose second place in Germany betters third place finishes achieved in Ireland and Spain in the past. “But I feel sure that we will be able to challenge for victory again on the remaining two asphalt rounds.”
Latvala’s podium finish was his first in the WRC since his victory on Rally Sweden back in February.
“It feels great to finish on the podium on asphalt and I’ll take great confidence from my best result on this surface,” he said. “This rally hasn’t been kind to Ford over the years so it’s a boost for everyone in the team. It was a hard event but we showed that the pace of myself and the car on asphalt continues to improve.”
Latvala’s result equalled Ford’s previous best finish in Germany claimed by Francois Duval in 2004. The remaining WRC events on asphalt this season are in France and Spain in October and November respectively.