12 Feb 08
The second ‘Abu Dhabi Spirit Of The Rally’ award has been presented to Jari-Matti Latvala on the occasion of his first World Championship victory.
The Ford team driver took a convincing victory on the second round of the 2008 series and at just 22 years old became the youngest driver ever to win a world championship rally, a record previously held by the late Henri Toivonen who won the 1980 RAC Rally in Britain when he was 24.
Commenting on Latvala’s achievement, Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority said: “There can be no better recipient of the Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally award in Sweden than Jari-Matti. He drove a superb event and took the victory not as the result of others’ misfortunes but completely on the basis of his driving ability. Of course, he was backed by a superb team but he showed all the values which Abu Dhabi stands for and is a worthy recipient of the award.”
Accepting the award, Latvala said; “Winning my first WRC rally and being presented with this award is like a dream come true for me. At the beginning of this rally, I thought a podium result would be excellent but this result is perfect for me. I will make sure that both the rally trophy and the Spirit of the Rally award take pride of place at my home.”