Latvala’s summer reset

Jari-Matti Latvala hopes a summer away from the WRC will help him find his form and deliver improved results in the season’s second half – starting with his home event at Neste Rally Finland (1 - 4 August).

The Toyota Gazoo Racing driver is languishing in 10th place in the championship after the first eight rallies only netted a pair of top five finishes.

Last season was a similar story but he turned 2018 around with a second half which featured four podiums from five finishes, including victory in Australia.

“I try not to think about rallying in the summer,” the popular Finn told wrc.com. “I have a new summer house, so I’m there and I’m trying to get away from rallying. This is good for my head to get away from all of this. I need to do this now.

“The season has been so difficult. I need to take a bit of little distance and then come back and try to build from Finland onwards.”

Despite the issues earlier this season, Latvala remains convinced he can make his Yaris fly.

“The speed is there,” he said. “The speed is not a problem, but it’s the other things, getting them right. OK, it’s been bad luck and a little bit of my mistake. It’s been a combination of things.

“Last time in Sardinia, when I was leading, I couldn’t believe what happened with the roll. When it started to go over, I said: “No, no, it cannot roll like this…” But it did. I need to forget these things and focus on what’s coming.

“The summer break is a good one. OK, we had a Germany test at the start of the month and another test for Finland, but between these I have time to relax and put my mind to other things like working on the sauna in the summer house."

Latvala has an enviable record in Finland, finishing on the podium eight times in his last 10 Jyväskylä outings and winning three times.

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