Rally Finland: Update #1
Latvala grabs early initiative in Finland
Back in the itinerary after an absence of 22 years, it flows from from crest to corner to crest to corner. It's wide at the start but narrows in the second part. It has often been used for testing and Kris Meeke hit a rock here in 2011 when working with Mini.
Jari-Matti Latvala posted a second consecutive fastest time to extend his advantage at Neste Oil Rally Finland to 5.3sec.
The Volkswagen Motorsport driver was 2.2sec faster than team-mate Sébastien Ogier, who climbed to second in the standings. Both are driving Polo Rs.
“Very, very good grip in there. Just one slippery braking area,” said Latvala, for whom this afternoon’s rain, which bound together the loose surface gravel, was the perfect gift for a driver second in the start order.
Ogier admitted to a small mistake while Mikko Hirvonen, who was eighth fastest in his Ford Fiesta RS and more than seven seconds behind Latvala, admitted he was ‘trying to hang on’.
Having been off the rally agenda for so many years, drivers made fresh pace notes during the recce and Thierry Neuville was not best pleased with his.
“My notes are too slow and I’m overdriving which isn’t good for my confidence. I’m struggling a bit at the moment,” said the Belgian.
Also unhappy was Martin Prokop, the Czech driver explaining he had no feeling for the grip and could not understand where his limits lay.