Rally Finland winner Jari-Matti Latvala is adamant he has the pace to challenge his Volkswagen World Rally Championship team-mate Sebastien Ogier on asphalt in Germany this week.
Although Latvala's WRC wins have all come on gravel or snow so far, he believes he has shown he can outpace reigning champion Ogier on asphalt in the past, and with momentum from his home victory behind him, he thinks aiming for another win in Germany is realistic.
"I want and I hope to challenge [Ogier]," Latvala told AUTOSPORT.
"Last year I managed to do that in Catalunya and in France also, so it's not impossible.
"I led in Germany last year before I made a mistake and hit one of the standing stones. Obviously, I cannot afford to do this again.
"I want to follow on from where I finished in Finland and, if it's dry, then I might have a chance."
HIRVONEN 2011 INSPIRATION
Despite the 44-point gap between himself and Ogier, Latvala says he will not give up on taking his first championship at the end of the season.
He says his countryman Mikko Hirvonen's late 2011 title bid revival serves as inspiration.
"I remember in 2011, when it looked like Sebastien Loeb was going to win the championship quite easily," added Latvala.
"Then suddenly he crashed in Australia and then the engine broke in France and Mikko was with him in the fight going to Wales.
"You never know. If Seb [Ogier] has a technical problem and we win, then already you are in the fight. This is why we have to keep going."
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