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Jari-Matti Latvala

Driver profile

Career Summary

Info

Nationality:  FIN
Date of Birth: 03.04.1985
Age: 31
Birthplace: Töysä
First Rally: 2002, Great Britain
Rally Wins: 16
Website: www.jmlatvala.com

Season 2016

Classification: WRC
Car No: 0
Car: Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Team: Volkswagen Motorsport
Co-driver: Miikka Anttila
Points: 112
Standing: 6
Rally Wins: 1
Retirements: 0
Podiums: 3

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Here’s what makes him special:

• Title runner-up in 2014, he is likely to be Sébastien Ogier’s closest rival again this year

• His passion for the sport is unrivalled and, on his day, he can be the fastest man on any stage

• He’s polite and articulate, honest and open, especially when things aren’t going well

• A deep thinker, he has a tendency to over analyse his driving – and can be very hard on himself

• Will 2016 be the year he fights his way out of Ogier’s shadow at Volkswagen?

The story so far

An early starter, Latvala began driving at the age of eight and competed on his first rally in Finland when he was 16. He made his WRC debut in 2002, aged 17, and in 2003 he drove a Ford Focus World Rally Car to 10th at the Acropolis Rally of Greece.

Three busy seasons followed in assorted two-wheel-drive, Group N and World Rally Cars until he hit the big time in 2007 with a 16-round programme at the Stobart Ford team.

Latvala was promoted to the factory Ford squad for 2008 and became the youngest driver to win a WRC rally when he took his maiden win in Sweden aged 22 years and 313 days. But as well as showing rally winning speed, Latvala’s season was plagued by driving errors.

There were more ups and downs in 2009. Ford stuck by its troubled driver, however, and Latvala secured a third term with the factory squad in 2010 when he shone by finishing runner-up in the standings.

More progress followed in 2011, and in 2012 he became Ford team leader, but it was a mixed season, and as Ford cut back its WRC involvement, Latvala left to become Sébastien Ogier’s team-mate at Volkswagen for 2013.

A lack of testing in the Polo R meant Latvala did a lot of learning on the early rounds, but he took victory at the Acropolis and finished the year strongly with second places in Spain and GB.

His learning season done, he began 2014 with enough seat-time to challenge Ogier, and a more focused mental approach courtesy of psychological trainer Christoph Treier. What followed was his most impressive season to date and the point at which his mental strength finally caught up with his skills behind the wheel.

A costly mistake in Germany effectively ended his bid for a maiden title, but he finished a strong runner-up.

Latvala had high hopes for 2015, but an early trio of no-scores in Sweden, Mexico and Argentina proved too much to make up. Still, with three wins and four second places, he underlined his position as Ogier's chief rival and a man at the very top of his game.

Rally Classification Co-driver Rank Points
Rallye Monte-Carlo WRC Miikka Anttila 65. 0
Rally Sweden WRC Miikka Anttila 26. 0
Rally Guanajuato México WRC Miikka Anttila 1. 25+2
YPF Rally Argentina WRC Miikka Anttila 16. 0
Vodafone Rally de Portugal WRC Miikka Anttila 6. 8+2
Rally Italia Sardegna WRC Miikka Anttila 2. 18+1
73rd PZM Rally Poland WRC Miikka Anttila 5. 10+2
Neste Rally Finland WRC Miikka Anttila 2. 18+1
ADAC Rallye Deutschland WRC Miikka Anttila 48. 2
Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse WRC Miikka Anttila 4. 12
RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España WRC Miikka Anttila 14. 3
Dayinsure Wales Rally GB WRC Miikka Anttila 7. 6
Kennards Hire Rally Australia WRC Miikka Anttila 9. 2

WRC+

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