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Jari-Matti Latvala

Driver profile

Career Summary


Nationality:  FIN
Date of Birth: 03.04.1985
Age: 29
Birthplace: Töysä
First Rally: 2002, Great Britain
Rally Wins: 12

Season 2014

Classification: WRC
Car No: 2
Team: Volkswagen Motorsport
Co-driver: Miikka Anttila
Points: 211
Standing: 2
Rally Wins: 4
Retirements: 0
Podiums: 0

Here’s what makes him special:

• His passion for the sport is unrivalled and, on his day, he can be the fastest man on any stage

• He’s polite and articulate, honest and open, especially when things aren’t going well

• A deep thinker, he has a tendency to over analyse his driving – and can be very hard on himself

• This year he’s determined to fight his way out of Ogier’s shadow at Volkswagen

The story so far

Latvala started driving when he was eight and competed on his first rally in Finland when he was 16. In 2003 he won the Italian Subaru Cup and, aged just 18, finished 10th in a guest drive for Ford at the Acropolis Rally of Greece.

After spending much of 2004 in Junior spec two-wheel-drive cars, he used 2005 and 2006 to gain more experience with four-wheel-drive and a 16-round programme with the Stobart Ford team followed in 2007.

Latvala was promoted to the factory Ford squad for 2008 and became the youngest driver to win a WRC rally when he took his maiden win in Sweden aged 22 years and 313 days. But as well as showing rally winning speed, Latvala’s season was plagued by driving errors.

There were more ups and downs in 2009. Ford stuck by its troubled driver, however, and Latvala secured a third term with the factory squad in 2010 when he shone by finishing runner-up in the standings.
More progress followed in 2011, and in 2012 he became Ford team leader, but it was a mixed season, and as Ford cut back its WRC involvement, Latvala left to become Sebastien Ogier’s team-mate at Volkswagen for 2013.

A lack of pre-season testing in the Polo R, especially compared to Ogier, meant Latvala did a lot of learning on the early rounds, but he took victory at the Acropolis and finished the year strongly with second places in Spain and GB.

2012 Third in World Rally Championship with one win
2011 Fourth in World Rally Championship with one win
2010 Second in World Rally Championship with two wins
2009 Fourth in World Rally Championship with one win
2008 Joins factory Ford team. Fourth in World Rally Championship with one win
2007 Leads in Sardinia. Claims first podium in Ireland
2006 Fourth in Production Car World Rally Championship with two wins
2005 Tops Group N category in Sardinia and Corsica