Acropolis rally 2011

I went to Greece to find a good feeling after Rally Argentina which was a disaster. But now afterwards I have to admit that Rally Greece wasn’t a very successful one. Actually I could say that my whole weekend went to a wrong direction. The main reason for that were technical problems. The car just wasn’t strong enough. These technical problems started already on Friday, the opening day of the rally. The transmission broke down and we had no time to start fixing the car so that was it. The problems with the transmission took us by surprise because none of them were shown in the tests. Then came Saturday and more technical problems. On the first stage of the day we suddenly lost all power. We tried to find the reason for that during the road section but nothing was found. In the service we found out the turbo had broken down which was extremely annoying because in spite of the problems on Friday I wanted to have a fresh start of the race on Saturday. The peak of this frustrating weekend came on Sunday when the rear anti-roll bar stopped working not on the last stage but on the stage before that. This meant that on the last stage the car pushed all the time. All in all the technical problems eat the motivation of the driver very much. It is frustrating to compete if the car doesn’t work properly. Of course the team was sorry for what was happening and they gave me lots of sympathy. They promised to send the broken parts to be studied because it seemed obvious that the material was faulty. I still tried to find at least some feeling into my driving and I did find it on the night stage. Still I wouldn’t want to drive in the rallies the whole night. What happened in Greece caused the title to go too far from me. I am so much behind in the points already. This means that the manufacturer’s title is the goal now. One must remember though that getting that title demands even my car to work in the upcoming rallies. It is time to relax a while and charge one’s batteries. The next race will be in Jyvaskyla at the end of July where I won last year and my aim is to do that again. It feels good to have a break because I have been very busy testing and trying to develop the car. Now it’s time to catch my breath and after the break a new leaf will be turned. My summer vacation plans include especially spending time at a summer cottage in Ostrobothnia. There one can swim and sauna bathe properly and enjoy the Finnish nature.

Jari-Matti Latvala’s columns will be published in Ilta-Sanomat freshly after each rally.

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