Latvala's error puts Ogier clear
Championship leader takes comfortable margin into Mexico’s final day
The Finn was second, and trying to narrow a 13.7sec gap to his team-mate Sebastien Ogier when he went off on Stage 12, ripping the left-rear wheel and suspension from his Polo R.
Coming straight after his no-score at Rally Sweden, and with Ogier on course for a third straight win, Latvala admitted his title chances “looked bad, for sure.”
“So I’m going to forget the championship, concentrate rally-by-rally and see where we are at the end of the year. That’s the only thing I can do.” he told wrc.com.
“But I say nobody can do 13 rounds perfectly. Okay, for sure Ogier is dominating and he will be very strong but let’s wait and see what happens on this rally first. You never know what can happen.”
Latvala revealed that he went off after changing his line into a corner to avoid one of the rally’s notorious roadside holes.
“The really stupid thing is that I decided to change strategy. I should have followed the original line. Other drivers were cutting over it but I decided to avoid it completely," he said.
“It happened in a narrow section 25km from the start. I had a really good rhythm and wasn’t taking any big risks. You have to be careful of big holes inside corners on this rally and when I came to this part I had a hole in my notes.
"Suddenly, when I got to it, I thought it looked worse and I had better go around it. I changed my line and got onto the loose gravel. Straightway I lost the rear and I touched the wall.”
Latvala will rejoin the rally for Sunday's final day.