The Volkswagen Polo R WRC of Jari-Matti Latvala is out of the Rallye Monte-Carlo after a crash in the second half of special stage 11. The Volkswagen Motorsport driver was sitting third on the rally prior to the eleventh stage and was faster than his rally leading team mate up to the fourth split. Soon after though disaster struck as the Finnish driver dropped his left rear wheel into a drainage gully and his pace dragged the front left into the ditch as well.
— BILLIOT Jérémie (@planetemarcus) January 23, 2016
Latvala managed to carry enough speed to get the car back out of the ditch but broke his front left suspension arm in the process. He lost 17.6 seconds in the penultimate split and was 1:54.2 behind the stage winner, Citroen’s Kris Meeke, at the end of the stage.
Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila worked for around 20 minutes to repair the car at stage end with spare parts carried in the vehicle. The #2 machine departed for the second run through St Leger Les Melezes – La Batie Neuve but stopped fifteen kilometers from the start of SS12 on the road section.
The stricken Polo R WRC was reported on it way back to Gap before rival Andreas Mikkelsen had finished SS12. Mikkelsen now sits third on the rally following Latvala’s misfortune.
The team do not have the option of continuing with Sunday’s three stages under Rally2 rules. The regulations prohibit Rally2 on the final day of the rally which means that the #2 is done until Rally Sweden in February.