29 May 08
Jari-Matti Latvala had a scare at this morning’s pre-Acropolis Rally shakedown when his Ford Focus RS WRC slid off the road and crashed into a tree stump.
The BP Ford Team driver was on his second pass through the 3.44km test stage when his car left the road on a tightening left-hand corner and slid sideways into a clump of bushes and small trees.
The Ford Focus RS WRC came to a halt after hitting a tree stump broadside, the impact centred on the rear edge of his co-drivers’ door. Neither Latvala nor his co-driver Miikka Anttila was injured in the impact and the car was driven back to the service park for repair work.
After the roll cage had been given the all-clear, a new door was fitted and Latvala carried on his pre-event testing. A new sill will be fitted to the car before Thursday evening’s ceremonial start.
“It was a bit of a scare, but I hope it means I’ve got any bad luck out of my system before the proper rally starts,” said Latvala. “The corner took me a bit my surprise. It tightened more than I was expecting and the car just went off the road. Luckily the damage wasn’t so bad. The only small problem is some damage to the jacking point on Miikka’s side, but the team should get that sorted tonight.”