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Latvala achieves his second win of the season

Finn Jari-Matti Latvala has achieved his second victory of the season in Rally Finland, the eighth scoring round of the world championship, after also winning in Sweden.
Latvala, who drives a Volkswagen Polo R WRC, has edged his teammate and championship leader Sébastien Ogier by 3.6 seconds. Kris Meeke finished third in his Citroën DS3 WRC, 47 seconds behind.
Ogier has won the Power Stage and has added three extra points. Latvala took two points and Meeke the remainder.
Latvala has dominated most of the four days of competition, but yesterday afternoon he had a brake problem that caused him to lose much of his advantage. However, the Volkswagen driver was able to maintain his lead by 3.6 seconds ahead of teammate Sébastien Ogier.
Aware of the lack of Finnish victories at this event in a country where rallying is the national sport, Latvala said he was highly motivated to defend himself against Ogier’s attacks with the support of his fans. As soon as he crossed the finish line in the final stage of Ruuhimäki, he received a hug from his father.
“It was very difficult to win,” he said. “I had a fantastic riding feeling, but when I had brake problems yesterday it left me in a difficult position. I was very close to losing the victory, but I defended myself. Today I was nervous, but I have managed to stay focused, “he added.
Latvala won 13 of the first 19 stages, building a solid 31-second lead lead over the first three days, but broke the right-hand front brake caliper of his Polo R WRC on an impact with a large sinkhole. Ogier, who had previously conceded the victory, seized his opportunity and reduced the margin to less than four seconds.
But once the Finn’s car had been repaired for today, Ogier had to settle for second place. The Frenchman scored maximum points by winning the Power Stage, and is currently 44 points ahead of Latvala in the fight for the title with five rounds to go.
Kris Meeke signed perhaps the best rally of his sporting career by taking third position at the controls of his Citroën DS3, thus adding his third podium of the season.
Andreas Mikkelsen remains third in the championship after finishing fourth in another Polo R WRC, albeit more than a minute behind Meeke. Mikko Hirvonen finished the rally fifth at the wheel of his Fiesta RS WRC, after a frustrating weekend for the former winner in Finland.
Craig Breen starred in the main abandonment of the last day. A hard landing after a big jump on the first pass by Ruuhimäki caused severe back pain that led him to abandonment. EFE

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