10 Feb 08
After three of Sunday’s stages, and with just two more to go, 22-year-old Jari-Matti Latvala remains on course to become the youngest driver ever to win a WRC rally.
On only has second event for the Ford team, Latvala was fourth quickest through the opening 16.25km Ullen special stage before posting second fastest time on the 10.49km Lesjöfors and the 21.87km Rämmen.
"I was nervous this morning, but not as bad as yesterday," said Latvala. "I've taken no risks and matched my speed to Mikko's split times. I'm really enjoying it but I'm not thinking about the finish yet, just taking everything slowly and carefully and thinking about one stage at a time. The first stage was pure gravel, but there was some ice in the other two. I'm surprised that the studded tyres are working so well in these conditions and that's thanks to the hard work put in by Pirelli."
Second placed Mikko Hirvonen was third through both Ullen and Rämmen and arrived at the remote service zone in Hagfors 55.6sec behind his team-mate. "The roads were soft, but there was ice in the last two tests and they should be OK on the second pass this afternoon," said Hirvonen. "I wanted 10 points from this rally but Jari-Matti has done such a good job that isn't possible."