Volkswagen Motorsport driver Jari-Matti Latvala rounded out the Xion Rally Argentina 2015 shakedown in fifth place as he looks to pick up the pieces of a shaky season start.
Speaking in the Thursday press conference he admitted that the six week gap since the last FIA World Rally Championship event has been long, “Yeah, it’s definitely been a break. It was good because the season has not gone so well for me so I had a two-week holiday in America. I think it was really needed, and one week out for fitness training. And I lost 1000 euros by gambling! Just a tip… if you want any advice on how to lose money, ask me!”
In a bid to get back in to the right frame of mind the Finn has been watching on-board footage of Colin McRae.
“When your self-confidence is a little bit down, have a look at those and you know what is confidence. I think he had the commitment that nobody else had. It’s incredible in some places where he was driving the Ford Focus rally car, for instance in this rally, there is some real commitment.”
Asked if he is still aiming for the title despite the growing deficit to team-mate Sebastién Ogier, Latvala said he would be taking things rally by rally but hopes to be able to get back in the running for the championship.
Latvala took victory in the 2014 running of the Argentinian rally and hopes that will give him a boost this year. “I think the rally this year, anyway, will be a combination of speed and durability, so it’s not necessarily as hard as attacking as last year, you have to be wiser this year because it’s asking a lot more from the car. You can’t push 100% per cent all the time. In some stages you’ll flat-out, but then you have to be a little more… you have to be patient in some areas.”