Latvala’s top WRC memories

Jari-Matti Latvala became the most experienced driver in FIA World Rally Championship history when he tackled his 197th round at Rally Sweden earlier this month.

The Finn beat the record of Spain’s double world champion Carlos Sainz. He will break the 200 barrier at Rally Argentina (25 - 28 April), joining co-driver Miikka Anttila, who reached that milestone in Italy last season.

Wrc.com asked Latvala to select his biggest and best WRC memories from a career that has netted 18 victories since his debut in Britain in 2002:

“Rally Sweden in 2008 was my first victory in only my second drive with the BP Ford Abu Dhabi team. That was amazing. But also Rally Monte-Carlo before that, which was actually my very first works drive.

“Then I would say 2014 Neste Oil Rally Finland. As a driver, it was my best drive ever because I had a broken brake calliper. The car was running with three brakes and we had a big fight with Sébastien Ogier until the very end, but I managed to win.

“Then there was my 2017 Rally Sweden victory with Toyota. I came to the start of the season and didn’t expect to win any events so that victory was a big, big surprise.

“My first podium in 2007, when I finished third in Ireland in a Ford Focus, was also a very memorable moment.”

Latvala has no desire to stop the clock on his career just yet, but believes his tally will be matched.

“I’m sure somebody will beat my record later but it might take some time. It might be that it will go to someone from the younger generation, like Kalle Rovanperä. I don’t think necessarily the current top drivers in WRC will still be driving in 10 years’ time,” he said.

The six most experienced drivers are:

PositionDriverCountryDebutStarts
1.Jari-Matti LatvalaFinlandBritain 2002197
2.Carlos SainzSpainPortugal 1987196
3.Petter SolbergNorwaySweden 1998189
4.Sébastien LoebFranceSpain 1999174
5.Mikko HirvonenFinlandFinland 2002163
6.Juha KankkunenFinlandFinland 1979162

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