Slipperiness surprised – good fortune didn’t favor Latvala in Mexico
Wild, graveled roads and engine output consumed by low-owygen air waited for drivers in Rally Mexico. The weather instead was exceptionally cool on mornings which caused slippery and problems for Latvala in the beginning of the rally when Latvala was trying to get used to a new WRC-Polo.
– I couldn’t find the confidence with the rear of the car. I was afraid of oversteering, Latvala said after the first day of the rally.
The tire choise that turned out to be too cautious ate up the speed. In cold weather conditions the soft tires would have been the right choise. Latvala got only one soft tyre for the four stages driven on cold Friday morning – and the rest of the tires were hard, which are normally used in Mexico.
– Soft tires aren’t normally used in rally of Mexico but this time it would have been wise to choose them, Latvala said.
On Friday the temperature dropped under 10 degrees in some places, which meant that the soft alloy doesn’t get hot and consumed in the same way as what it would do under normal conditions in Mexico.
Latvala started the Saturday’s stage from the second position but wasn’t lucky enough. He drove out of the road and stopped his rally when the car hit the wall of the rock on the second stage. As a result of this the left rear wheel left off five kilometers before the finish of the stage. There was still two stages left before accessing to the service park so Latvala had to stopped his rally. At that point Latvala had dropped to seventh position.
– There were two junctions in a row turning to right and two holes in a row in inner bend. I tried to skirt the first hole and the car slipped from the clear driving line to the slippery surface. After that the rear of the car hit the wall of the rock, Latvala thought back.
– Driving rhythm was good. The speed didn’t have anything to do with this situation. I made a mistake when I tried to set the front suspensions.
Latvala returned to the competition on Sunday but couldn’t get points on the Powerstage after reaching the fourth position. Latvala, who had two fastest times on the competition was finally fifteenth. Sebastien Ogier took the win where as Mads Östberg with Citroen was second.