Sunday | 02 Aug 2015

SS19: Latvala wins Sunday's opener

Neste Oil Rally Finland leader Jari-Matti Latvala was fastest through Sunday morning’s opening stage in Myhinpää.

Stage info: SS19

Myhinpää 1, 14.13km
Myhinpää is used in the opposite direction to last year and in a shortened form. It is quite technical for the opening 8km, with several places where drivers must slow to hold the correct line. The remainder is very fast with several big jumps just before the finish.

He went quickest in his Volkswagen Polo R by 0.9sec from team-mate Sébastien Ogier, and just a second run through the test stands between Latvala and his third Finland success.

“What a rollercoaster!” said Latvala. “That was impressive. There are places where I didn’t expect to jump and the car was in the air. Now we have to concentrate on clearing the final stage with no problems.”

His lead over Ogier is 14.1sec with just a second run through Myhinpää remaining, and the Frenchman concentrated on fine-tuning his pace notes ahead of that final live TV stage, which offers bonus points to the fastest three drivers.

“It was a high-speed recce,” he said. “It’s an impressive stage, I had a lot of respect for that. There was nothing to gain by pushing for a win, that’s not possible, so I tried to focus on checking the notes for the second pass.”

Kris Meeke, who restarted under Rally 2 rules after retiring yesterday was third in Citroën’s DS 3 with team-mate Mads Østberg fourth.

Thierry Neuville was ninth in his Hyundai i20, and reported that the engine sensor issues that affected him yesterday had been cured.

More News