Latvala holds out to win home rally
Jari-Matti Latvala held off his VW Polo teammate and double world champion Sebastien Ogier in a thrilling duel to claim his home Rally of Finland on Sunday.
The Finn set up his third win at his local rally when braving treacherous conditions Saturday to hold a slender overnight lead on France’s Ogier.
He held his nerve to come home victorious in Jyvaskyla after 320 kilometres of special stages on gravel roads in central Finland by 13.7sec.
Norway’s Mads Ostberg took third in a Citroen over one minute and a half further away.
“I was hungry for victory,” Latvala said.
“After a bad first half of the season this win means almost as much to me as if I’d won the title.”
Latvala, who won Sunday’s opening stage before filling second to Ogier in the concluding powerstage, moved into second in the world drivers championship - albeit 89 points adrift.
The 30-year-old was adding this to his victory in the Rally of Portugal. The world rally championship moves next to Germany for the ninth leg of the season starting on August 20.