Latvala: Conditions were appalling

Fri, 30 Mar 17:10:17 2012

Jari-Matti Latvala says his Rally of Portugal crash came in some of the most difficult driving conditions he has ever experienced.

The Finn was leading the rally when he slid off the road near the end of Friday's opening stage.

"Visibility wasn't great," said Latvala, speaking about the incident for the first time. "The rock was on the line. I touched the rock and the impact broke the TCA. The front-left wheel bent under the arch and the car spun backwards off the road and down a bank. There is no other damage to the car, but the police wouldn't allow people to come and help.

"I didn't have the rock in my notes, so I'm not sure where it came from. It was incredibly slippery and the visibility was bad. As well as the fog, all of our side windows were misted. I think it's probably some of the most difficult conditions in which I have driven."

Starting the event 40 points behind series leader Sebastien Loeb, Latvala could have narrowed that gap by up to 28 points if he had remained at the front.

Latvala refused to think about the incident's implications for the title race.

"I just want to focus on the next round, I'm not thinking about the championship," he said. "After leading last night we had a great opportunity for a good result here and I'm incredibly disappointed with what's happened."


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