Jari-Matti Latvala enjoyed a fantastic return to the Rally Sweden as he took Toyota’s first World Rally Championship victory since 1999 as he beat Ott Tänak by 29.2 seconds.
The Finn, alongside co-driver Miika Anttila, was fastest in all three stages held on Sunday to clinch victory, including the final power stage, and although he conceded he was lucky and commiserated with Thierry Neuville, who crashed out from the lead on Saturday, he was naturally delighted to take the victory in his Yaris WRC.
Latvala now heads to the Rally Guanajuato Mexico at the beginning of March with confidence and the championship lead, four points ahead of reigning champion Sebastien Ogier.
”I am so, so happy,” said Latvala on toyotagazooracing.com. “For a new team and new car to win its second rally: I really have no words. I think I drove my best power stage ever today.
“Huge thanks to all the team. Now we are super-motivated to continue like this: I just can’t wait to get to Mexico. It’s fantastic to win but I also feel very sorry for Thierry Neuville, who lost the lead yesterday at the super special stage. I have been in a similar situation myself in the past, so I completely understand how he must be feeling now.
“We know we were lucky, so we need to carry on improving and working for our goal.”