Jari-Matti Latvala

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Jari-Matti Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala Dunton 2010.jpg
Jari-Matti Latvala
Personal information
Nationality Finland Finnish
Born (1985-04-03) April 3, 1985 (age 29)
World Rally Championship record
Active years 2002–present
Teams Stobart Ford, Ford, Volkswagen
Rallies 137
Championships 0
Rally wins 10
Podiums 41
Stage wins 300
Total points 760
First rally 2002 Rally Great Britain
First win 2008 Swedish Rally

Jari-Matti Latvala (born April 3, 1985) is a Finnish rally driver competing in the World Rally Championship. His co-driver has been Miikka Anttila since the 2003 Rallye Deutschland. He is well known for his aggressive driving style, which earns him many plaudits, and comparisons to the late Colin McRae.

Career[edit]

Latvala began driving when he was eight years old, after receiving a Ford Escort from his father Jari Latvala, also a rally driver and 1994 national champion in the Group N class.[1] At the age of ten, Latvala started practicing with an Opel Ascona on a frozen lake.[2]

2000s[edit]

Latvala's first world rally was the 2002 Rally Great Britain at the age of 17. He finished in 17th position with a Mitsubish Lancer Evolution VI. In 2003, Latvala competed in four WRC events with a Ford Focus WRC, finishing tenth at the Acropolis Rally, 17th at the Rallye Deutschland, 14th at the Neste Oil Rally Finland and tenth at the Rally Great Britain.[3]

In 2004, Latvala mostly competed with an S1600 class Junior World Rally Championship car. His best overall result in the World Rally Championship was 21st with a Group N Subaru Impreza WRX STI at the Tour de Corse. In the 2005 season, Latvala competed in nine world rallies; six with the Group N Impreza and three with a World Rally Car. His best overall result was 16th, which he managed three times; at the Swedish Rally with a Toyota Corolla WRC and at the Tour de Corse and the Rally d'Italia Sardegna with the Impreza.[3]

2006–2007: Stobart Ford[edit]

Latvala driving his Ford Focus RS WRC 06 at the 2007 Rally GB.

In 2006, Latvala competed in 11 world rallies. He drove the Subaru Impreza WRX STI in six, a Ford Focus WRC in four and a Toyota Corolla WRC at his home event, the Neste Oil Rally Finland. His best results came in the last three rallies. At the Telstra Rally Australia, he won the Production Car World Rally Championship (PCWRC) class, and finished sixth overall. At the Propecia Rally New Zealand, he finished eighth overall and also won the PCWRC. With the Focus WRC, he recorded his career-best result by finishing fourth at the last event of the season, the Rally Great Britain. Points from these rallies then placed Latvala 13th overall in the drivers' championship.[3]

In 2007, Latvala competed a full 16-event programme for Stobart M-Sport Ford with Matthew Wilson and Henning Solberg as teammates. He started the season with retirements in Monte Carlo and Sweden.[4][5] At the Rally Norway, Latvala was in contention for his first podium place, but had to settle for fifth after a 90 seconds time penalty. He did, however, take his first stage win on SS5.[6] Latvala later took his first podium at the 2007 Rally Ireland. At the last rally of the season, Rally GB, he lost 10 minutes on the last stage of day one due to windscreen wiper failure, but went on to win ten of the remaining 11 stages under the SupeRally rules, finishing 10th overall.

2008: Ford's factory team[edit]

Latvala at the 2008 Monte Carlo Rally.
Jari-Matti Latvala in official opening – Bulgaria 2010

In 2008, Latvala joined Ford's factory team as a number two driver, partnering Mikko Hirvonen and replacing Marcus Grönholm who had announced his retirement from the WRC at the end of 2007.[7] The opening round of the season wasn't lucky for the young Finn – he suffered a puncture after cutting a corner too deep on the very first stage and lost even more time because of a non-fully operative pneumatic wrench.[8] Latvala continued to fight and was ninth overall before SS12, but he made another mistake there and heavily damaged the front left suspension in his Focus, forcing himself to retire for good.[9] At the second rally of the season, 2008 Swedish Rally, he had good pace from the beginning – he won all regular special stages on day one, pulling away from the runner-up spot slowly, but consistently. He later had some problems[10] and wasn't the fastest on any of the remaining stages, but managed to keep his position throughout the rally. The 22-year-old therefore took his first WRC win to become the youngest winner in the history of the World Rally Championship. The previous record was held by Henri Toivonen who was 24 years and 86 days old when he won the 1980 RAC Rally.[11] For his performance during the Swedish rally Latvala was given the Abu Dhabi Spirit Of The Rally award.[12] At the first gravel event of the season, the 2008 Rally México, despite officially claiming no intentions to win the event,[13] he was the fastest driver on the first two stages and was leading the rally throughout the first day, pulling out from the current World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb. Unfortunately for the young Finn, the turbo in his Ford Focus was malfunctioning during the second day, making his car uncompetitive. This, along with having to be the opening driver on the stages 9–16, having to sweep the track of the loose gravel, cost him a substantial amount of time and Latvala finished the rally third.[14]

2009 Season[edit]

Jari-Matti Latvala in SS7 "Lyubnitsa" – Rally Bulgaria 2010

For 2009 the expectation was for Latvala to progress in his performance as number two driver for Ford's factory team. However the start of the season became a big disappointment for the team, as Latvala went off the road in three of the first four rallies of the year. In Portugal, he and his co-driver Miikka Anttila were lucky to escape injury in the most serious crash in Latvala's career. They went off the road on a left-hand bend and rolled 17 times, 150m down a steep hill, and finally came to rest against a tree. Latvala had specifically been focusing to combat his driver weaknesses going into this rally, so the accident put some extra pressure on him for the future, although he also admitted that he would fully understand if the team did not require his services because of his erratic reputation. However, after a consistent, steady drive in Argentina, Latvala went on to take his second WRC win of his career on Rally Sardinia ahead of teammate Mikko Hirvonen. He led from beginning to end, hence driving as first car on the road on both day two and three.[15][16]

2010 Season[edit]

Jari-Matti Latvala, winner of the Neste Oil Rally Finland 2010, driving his car in Muurame shakedown.

Latvala remained with the Ford factory team for 2010. Following his many crashes in 2009, he now had the official position of number two driver whereas in the previous year there was no official distinction between him and team mate Hirvonen. After Round 1 in Sweden, Latvala came 3rd. In Mexico, Jari-Matti came 5th and in Round 3 - Rally Jordan, he came 2nd. He crashed on stage 10 in Turkey and he took a dramatic win in New-Zealand. In Round 6, Rally of Portugal, he crashed out and in Bulgaria he was 6th. In this year's 8th round, the Finnish Rally, he claimed his second win of the season, while his team-mate Mikko Hirvonen crashed out. Latvala was now ahead of his team mate by 19 points in 4th. After his fourth place in Germany, the third place in Japan and the two fourth places in France and Spain, Latvala managed to finish the season on the podium in Wales. His third place brought him the second place in the overall classification behind record-champion Loeb.

2012 Season[edit]

For 2012 Latvala was promoted to Ford's number one after the departure of Hirvonen to Rival's Citroen Total. For the first round in Monte-Carlo Jari-Mati-Latvala took the first stages wins before going off the road at the last stage of day 1, without having rally 2 rules in the event(a.k.a. formidably known as superrally rules) he retired. Round 2 in Sweden and Latvala took his first win of the season and the first as Ford's number one. Mexico saw another retirement of Latvala, and it continued to round 4 in Vodafone Rally de Portugal. Recently Latvala was injured during the testing for the 5th round in Argentina, he is due to be replaced by Prodrive's Dani Sordo, but should be able to compete by the next round in Greece.

2013 Season and beyond[edit]

For 2013, Latvala signed a contract with the new Volkswagen WRC team, announced on Oct 17. No statement has been made as to whether Latvala or Ogier will be considered the No. 1 driver for the team, which will be significant given Ogier's recent tantrums about his position vs. Loeb's in the Citroen team. The day after the announcement, Ford announced the withdrawal of the factory WRC effort, which will leave M-Sport to continue as a private team. While Latvala discussed having offers from both Ford and VW for next year. earlier in the month Ford's decision to cut back their motorsport participation not only in the rally arena (but also in the Australian V8 competition) probably had some considerable bearing on his change of team.

WRC victories[edit]

 #  Event Season Co-driver Car
1 Sweden 57th Uddeholm Swedish Rally 2008 Miikka Anttila Ford Focus RS WRC 07
2 Italy 6º Rally d'Italia Sardegna 2009 Miikka Anttila Ford Focus RS WRC 09
3 New Zealand 40th Rally New Zealand 2010 Miikka Anttila Ford Focus RS WRC 09
4 Finland 60º Rally Finland 2010 Miikka Anttila Ford Focus RS WRC 09
5 United Kingdom 67th Wales Rally GB 2011 Miikka Anttila Ford Fiesta RS WRC
6 Sweden 60th Rally Sweden 2012 Miikka Anttila Ford Fiesta RS WRC
7 United Kingdom 68th Wales Rally GB 2012 Miikka Anttila Ford Fiesta RS WRC
8 Greece 59th Acropolis Rally 2013 Miikka Anttila Volkswagen Polo R WRC
9 Sweden 62nd Rally Sweden 2014 Miikka Anttila Volkswagen Polo R WRC
10 Argentina 34th Rally Argentina 2014 Miikka Anttila Volkswagen Polo R WRC

WRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
2002 Jari-Matti Latvala Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI MON SWE FRA ESP CYP ARG GRE KEN FIN GER ITA NZL AUS GBR
17
NC 0
2003 Ford Motor Co Ford Focus RS WRC 02 MON SWE TUR NZL ARG GRE
10
CYP GER
17
FIN
14
AUS ITA FRA ESP GBR
10
NC 0
2004 Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Puma S1600 MON
Ret
NC 0
Subaru Impreza WRX STI SWE
Ret
MEX NZL CYP GER
27
JPN FRA
21
Ford Fiesta S1600 GRE
Ret
TUR
Ret
ARG
Suzuki Ignis S1600 FIN
Ret
GBR
23
ITA
Ret
ESP
29
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII AUS
Ret
2005 Jari-Matti Latvala Toyota Corolla WRC MON SWE
16
MEX FIN
Ret
NC 0
Subaru Impreza WRX STI NZL
Ret
ITA
16
CYP TUR GRE ARG
Ret
GER
21
FRA
16
ESP
19
AUS
Ford Focus RS WRC GBR
Ret
JPN
2006 Jari-Matti Latvala Subaru Impreza WRX STI MON
41
SWE MEX
25
GRE
22
JPN
69
CYP TUR AUS
6
NZL
8
13th 9
Toyota Corolla WRC FIN
17
Stobart VK Ford Rally Team Ford Focus RS WRC 04 ESP
16
FRA
Ret
ARG ITA GER
34
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 GBR
4
2007 Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team Ford Focus RS WRC 06 MON
Ret
SWE
Ret
NOR
5
MEX
7
POR
8
ARG
4
ITA
9
GRE
12
FIN
Ret
GER
8
NZL
5
ESP
7
FRA
4
JPN
25
IRE
3
GBR
10
8th 30
2008 BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team Ford Focus RS WRC 07 MON
12
SWE
1
MEX
3
ARG
15
JOR
7
ITA
3
GRE
7
TUR
2
FIN
38
4th 58
Ford Focus RS WRC 08 GER
9
NZL
Ret
JPN
2
GBR
2
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team Ford Focus RS WRC 07 ESP
6
FRA
4
2009 BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team Ford Focus RS WRC 08 IRE
14
NOR
3
CYP
12
POR
Ret
ARG
6
4th 41
Ford Focus RS WRC 09 ITA
1
GRE
3
POL
Ret
FIN
3
AUS
4
ESP
6
GBR
7
2010 BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team Ford Focus RS WRC 09 SWE
3
MEX
5
JOR
2
TUR
8
NZL
1
POR
Ret
BUL
6
FIN
1
GER
4
JPN
3
FRA
4
ESP
4
GBR
3
2nd 171
2011 Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC SWE
3
MEX
3
POR
3
JOR
2
ITA
18
ARG
7
GRE
9
FIN
2
GER
14
AUS
2
FRA
4
ESP
3
GBR
1
4th 172
2012 Ford World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC MON
Ret
SWE
1
MEX
Ret
POR
13
ARG
GRE
3
NZL
7
FIN
3
GER
2
GBR
1
FRA
2
ITA
12
ESP
2
3rd 154
2013 Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen Polo R WRC MON
Ret
SWE
4
MEX
16
POR
3
ARG
3
GRE
1
ITA
3
FIN
17
GER
7
AUS
4
FRA
3
ESP
2
GBR
2
3rd 162
2014 Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen Polo R WRC MON
5
SWE
1
MEX
2
POR
14
ARG
1
ITA
3
POL
5
FIN GER AUS FRA ESP GBR 2nd* 116*

JWRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pos. Points
2004 Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Puma S1600 MON
Ret
13th 5
Ford Fiesta S1600 GRE
Ret
TUR
Ret
Suzuki Ignis S1600 FIN
Ret
GBR
4
ITA
Ret
ESP
9

PWRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pos. Points
2006 Jari-Matti Latvala Subaru Impreza WRX STI MON
5
MEX
9
ARG GRE
6
JPN
9
CYP AUS
1
NZL
1
4th 27

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jari Latvala". RallyBase. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  2. ^ "Jari-Matti Latvala, Suomi". MTV3 (in Finnish). Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  3. ^ a b c "Jari-Matti Latvala". RallyBase. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  4. ^ "Latvala 'so disappointed' to retire". Crash.net. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  5. ^ "Chilling end for both Latvala and Wilson". Crash.net. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  6. ^ "Latvala claims first WRC stage win". Superwheels. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  7. ^ "Ford confirms line-up.". Crash.net. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  8. ^ "Puncture costs Latvala.". Crash.net. 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  9. ^ "STOP PRESS: Latvala retires.". Crash.net. 2008-01-26. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  10. ^ "Latvala: It was a long, difficult weekend but...". Crash.net. 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  11. ^ "Latvala claims historic Swedish win". Autosport. 2008-02-10. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  12. ^ "Jari-Matti Latvala awarded 'Abu Dhabi Spirit Of The Rally'". WRC.com. 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  13. ^ "Latvala: Another win isn't a realistic aim for R3.". Crash.net. 2008-02-24. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  14. ^ "Latvala out to 'save' his podium.". Crash.net. 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  15. ^ http://wrc.com/jsp/index.jsp?lnk=101&id=5007&desc=SS17:%20Latvala%20wins%20Rally%20d%E2%80%99Italia%20-%20Sardegna!
  16. ^ "Latvala wins Rally of Sardinia in Ford 1–2". USA Today. 2009-05-24. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
Henri Toivonen
24 years, 86 days
(1980 RAC Rally)
Youngest Rally
Winner

22 years, 313 days
(2008 Swedish Rally)
Succeeded by
Incumbent