26 Apr 08
BP-Ford team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen say they would be happy to end the second day of Rally Jordan in their current positions.
With 134 competitive kilometres to tackle on the rally’s final day, neither Ford driver wants to take the lead away from Dani Sordo, and take his place as first car through Sunday’s loose gravel covered stages.
Latvala started Saturday in third place, and posted three second fastest times over the morning’s four tests to close in on overnight leader Sordo. Following Loeb’s retirement, Latvala returned to the BP-Ford service area after SS12 less than one second off the rally lead.
"I'm close to Dani and I need to control that now and control how he's driving," said Latvala. "It would be perfect if I can keep the gap to just a couple of seconds because I don't want to be first car on the slippery gravel roads tomorrow, so maybe I don't need to push so much. I made quite a few mistakes this morning and couldn't find my confidence. I slid wide too often and also ended in a field after a crest on stage 11 because my pace note was wrong. Luckily I didn't damage the car."
Hirvonen took one second and three third fastest times as he, too, maintained a strong pace on the morning stages. "I've made no mistakes but when I try to push hard it's difficult to gain time and I couldn't have done more than I did," he said. "I couldn't believe it when I saw Loeb's accident. It was on a very narrow section of road just after a crest. I'm still thinking about my road position for tomorrow. Third in the start order would be ideal so long as I'm close to Sordo and Jari-Matti."