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Rally: Jari-Matti Latvala scores maiden asphalt win in France


It took him 140 starts, but he did it. Jari-Matti Latvala won an asphalt rally.

The Volkswagen driver came close to breaking his asphalt curse in Germany in August but crashed out of the lead on the final morning. He made no mistakes in France to lead for all but one of the 18 special stages in a Volkswagen Polo R to win by 44.8sec.

"I was pretty nervous this morning after my mistake in Germany. I had to take that lesson and without that experience I wouldn’t have been able to be as strong today and have belief in myself," he said.

Jari-Matti Latvala, VW Polo R WRC France
Jari-Matti Latvala, VW Polo R WRC (Photo: WRI2)

"I’ve been waiting a long time to win on asphalt and done a lot of work for that and now it has finally come.

"I’ve been able to take some big steps this year and this is one of the most important," said Latvala, who was greeted at the end of the final stage by fellow Finn and 1981 world champion Ari Vatanen.

Robert Kubica was on course for a career-best fourth after demoting Dani Sordo on the final morning, but spun his Ford Fiesta RS into a ditch in the final test.

Robert Kubica, Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Robert Kubica, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (Photo: WRI2)