Although a broken wheel on the second run through the Terranova stage ultimately dropped him out of contention after he lost almost 30 seconds to leader Sebastien Loeb, he also squandered more than 15s sweeping away the loose surface gravel on the first run of the stage following his decision to open the road.
“The gamble of running first on the road didn’t pay off because the conditions weren’t as we expected,” said the Ford World Rally Team driver. “Once the loose gravel had been swept away, it was damp beneath, and that offered good grip to everyone.”
Of his delay on stage two, Latvala explained: “It happened at a left corner, which had some bedrock on the inside. I was faster into the bend than the first pass and I turned in more. I knew there was a rock, but with the extra speed I couldn’t avoid it. The impact broke the wheel and the air came out of the tyre. But to drive for so long like that and lose less than 30s is amazing. It proves how strong Michelin’s tyres are.”
Latvala is sixth overall starting day two, 42.1s adrift of top spot. Meanwhile, team-mate Petter Solberg is third and “satisfied” with his start to the FIA World Rally Championship counter.