VW Motorsport drivers Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala will be allowed to continue their fierce inter-team battle for WRC wins – despite the risks associated with it.
The team-mates put on a spectacular show as they fought for supremacy on last week’s Rally Argentina but it was Latvala that claimed top points by a margin of 1m 26.9s.
Reigning world champion Ogier was the early pace setter on the opening two stages but Latvala fought back immediately. He won seven more stages than Ogier on the final two days of the rally and that was more than enough to secure his first victory on Argentina’s tricky gravel stages.
The result has moved Latvala to within 24 points of Ogier at the top of the WRC standings with eight rallies left to contest.
The WRC history books have shown that when team-mates push each other so hard for rally wins, team orders are usually employed as a way of bringing calm to the situation.
But VW Motorsport team boss, Jost Capito, is happy to let his drivers fight it out for this year’s WRC crown.
“The team enjoys the competition and enjoys the battle,” he confirmed. “Normally I have lunch with the drivers and their co-drivers and on one of the days in Argentina, Seb (Ogier) came to the table and said: ‘Hey Miikka (Anttila, Latvala’s co-driver), you did a fantastic, outstanding loop’.
“That shows how it is in the team. We enjoy internal competition – it’s very sporting and very healthy.”
Capito admitted he was impressed with Latvala’s performance in Argentina and that it wasn’t a surprise when the 29-year-old claimed the ninth win of his career. He said: “We know that Jari-Matti can win rallies on his own without needing any luck. And that’s the same for Sebastien.”