After topping the times on Thursday’s Qualifying Stage, the 27-year-old Finn was in third overall nearing the end of day one only to hit a hole in the road and spin into a fence where a wheel on his factory Ford Fiesta RS WRC became entangled in wire.
He fought back up to seventh position and bagged three bonus points by winning the event-closing Power Stage. But it wasn’t enough to prevent Citroen’s eight-time world champion Sebastien Loeb moving 91 points clear of him in the drivers’ standings, a deficit Latvala believes is too great to make up.
“I struggled on Friday and after my spin I focused on testing,” said Latvala. “That brought some good ideas for the next round in Finland. Looking at the points, I have no chance for the drivers’ championship now but the main thing will be to keep fighting for victory on every rally. I started to regain my speed and confidence [on the final day] and I’m happy to earn bonus points for winning the Power Stage.”