Thursday | 25 May 2017

Stomach bug floors Latvala

Jari-Matti Latvala returned to hospital in Porto after climbing from a hospital bed to finish ninth at Vodafone Rally de Portugal last weekend.

He was laid low by a severe stomach upset and spent Saturday night in hospital as doctors rehydrated him. He was advised not to drive Sunday’s final leg, but ignored the guidance to steer his Toyota Yaris to the finish and claim two drivers’ points.

He returned to hospital for further checks before the exhausted Finn was finally able to rest.

“On Saturday morning when I did the first stage I had a really, really bad feeling with the stomach and a couple of jumps we did, it wasn’t a nice feeling,” he told

“I had cramps in the stomach and the fever was on at the same time, but luckily it got better when I got some painkillers.

“I lost a lot of fluid and because I could not eat anything on Saturday, doctors put fluid back into my body. Now I feel really tired because I have no energy, I think I have to sleep for two days in a row,” Latvala said at the finish.

He led on Friday’s opening leg and was boosted by increased pace from his Yaris on its first appearance on European gravel.

“We have improved since Argentina. I think the car is now better on gravel than it has been. We did some work with the suspension, that is better, and we did some work also on the engine.

“On the first day the performance was there. After I got really sick on Friday evening, I can’t say what my level was because I drove only according to my condition on Saturday and Sunday. But on Friday everything was looking good,” added Latvala.


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