The factory Ford driver had to give best to his former team-mate Mikko Hirvonen through the 23.06-kilometre Lankamaa run after changes in mid-morning service improved the handling of his Fiesta RS WRC and boosted his confidence.
“It’s the first time we are not losing anymore, we have a chance to keep the fight on,” said Latvala. “You never know what is happening in this rally so we have to keep pushing.”
After eight stages, Latvala is third overall, 15.1s behind leader and eight-time world champion Sebastien Loeb. His team-mate Petter Solberg is in fourth position.
Following a 30-minute service halt in Jyvaskyla, the competitive action resumes with the second running of the Mokkipera stage at 16:08hrs local time.