Toyota GAZOO Racing World Rally Team’s Jari-Matti Latvala admitted that it could have “been very easy to go off the road” before taking his first World Rally Championship win of the season on 2018 Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
Latvala took over from teammate Ott Tänak at the front of the field at the beginning of the final day of action before the Estonian crashed out of the rally on the penultimate stage, although the Toyota team did still manage to clinch the manufactures title.
Latvala said on his win: “I am so happy to win again. It was quite a relief after such a long time! The conditions today were incredibly demanding, and it would have been very easy to go off the road. Everything went my way today, and I am sorry for Ott that his rally ended in the way it did.”
“I was very excited and nervous at the start of the final stage, but we managed to do it. To win the manufacturers’ title is fantastic. I am so proud of the team and what they have created. Everybody has worked so hard and they deserve this reward!”
Latvala will remain with the team for the 2019 season, where he will again partner Tänak with the pair being joined by Kris Meeke.