Latvala feeling the Finnish fan support on WRC return

Jari-Matti Latvala is relishing his return to the FIA World Rally Championship on Secto Rally Finland – particularly because so many fans have been following the his progress on the high-speed gravel stages.

Latvala, who is switching from his team principal role at Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT for his first WRC outing since Rally Sweden in 2020, started leg three in fifth position.

“It has been good fun,” said the three-time Rally Finland winner at the end of Saturday’s second leg. “It’s always nice to go to these stages around Jämsä which are wide, fast and flowing with usually a lot of people spectating, and the atmosphere was really nice. 

“The conditions were a bit challenging with a lot of rain, but it was still enjoyable most of the time. The last stage of the day was more like Safari, with big ruts full of water and a lot of mud coming to the windscreen. But it has been great to see so many people cheering for us on the stages and telling us that we’re doing well. The boost I’m getting from them is giving me an amazing feeling and I hope to carry that until the finish.”

Secto Rally Finland marks his 210th start in the WRC and his first at the wheel of a Rally1 hybrid car.

Photo: Taneli Niinimäki/AKK

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