Friday | 14 Feb 2014

Latvala speeds to stage wins milestone

Jari-Matti Latvala had two good reasons to celebrate on last week’s Rally Sweden. Not only did he claim his third win on the WRC’s only winter rally, but he also took the 300th stage win of his career.

The Finn’s benchmark time on SS17 (Hara 1) made him the most successful driver in the current WRC line-up in terms of stage victories.

It took the Volkswagen Motorsport driver 12 years and 132 starts to reach his current tally of 303 fastest times. He sits 15th in the all-time stage win rankings.

Latvala was presented with a commemorative cake by the team to mark his success. However, rather than eating it, VW boss Jost Capito elected to squash Latvala’s face into it instead!

Sebastien Loeb tops the charts with a massive 900 stage victories to his credit, with Markku Alen second on 821 and Carlos Sainz third on 756.

Of the current WRC drivers, M-Sport’s Mikko Hirvonen is Latvala’s closest challenger on 253 victories, while reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier is next up on 236 wins.

However, it’s only taken Ogier six years to reach his tally and he has accumulated those wins faster than any other driver in the series.