27 Apr 08
Jari-Matti Latvala is the new leader of the Jordan Rally after he and his BP-Ford team-mate Mikko Hirvonen moved ahead of Dani Sordo on Sunday’s first stage.
Some tactical driving by the Ford pair on Saturday ensured that Citroen’s Dani Sordo would be the first though Sunday’s stages and face the worst of the loose gravel on the road.
Over Sunday’s opening test the Ford drivers capitalised on their more advantageous road positions and both moved ahead of him in the overall standings.
Latvala was 10.9sec quicker than Sordo through the 16km stage and moved into a slim rally lead. At the stage end he said he was happy with his strategy to slow down on Saturday. “It was a good stage and we got the time back,” said Latvala. “But Mikko is pushing hard so it’s not an easy situation. I started hard then backed off a bit to save the tyres. There’s quite a lot of wear already.”
Hirvonen set the fastest time on the stage and moved up to second overall, just 0.3sec behind his team-mate and was anticipating a good battle for the lead. “It’s going to be a hell of a fight,” he said. “Jari-Matti is driving very, very well. Dani’s on the limit too and it’s so easy to make a small mistake here. I’ll try and keep the pace up.”