The 27-year-old Finn turned to circuit racer Didier Andre for tips at the Le Mans Bugatti track in France on Wednesday as prepares his bid to make it two wins in succession in the WRC following his victory on Wales Rally GB earlier this month.
Such is the threat posed by Loeb and his factory Citroen team that Latvala and his Ford squad have once again maximised their efforts to achieve success on the Strasbourg-based round, won by Citroen for the last two seasons.
Latvala, fourth on Rallye de France on his first two attempts, spent a day in Le Mans working on improving his braking and driving lines on asphalt before he travelled to the Alsace for a two-day test ending today (Saturday).
“The weather was mixed which meant I had the advantage of driving on both dry weather slick tyres and wet rubber,” said Latvala, who recorded his best finish on Tarmac when he came second on ADAC Rallye Deutschland in July. “I was happy about that because I had to adapt my usual driving line in the rain and that’s something I can use in rallying. When you come across a ‘black top’ shiny surface in stages, you must take a different line to avoid it.”
Despite never having won a round of the WRC on asphalt before, Latvala says he’s revved up for a strong result in France following his second win of 2012 in Wales.
“Good results provide confidence and I had strong speed in France last season,” said Latvala. “I would like to challenge for the top placing. I’m a realist and know how hard that will be on asphalt, but that’s the target.”