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Latvala drops back after crash

Jari-Matti LatvalaJari-Matti Latvala has dropped out of podium contention in the Cyprus Rally after a trip off the road on SS8.

The Ford driver had made a promising start to the morning by winning SS7 and closing on Dani Sordo and Mikko Hirvonen's battle for second.

But Latvala then went off the road approximately seven kilometres into the Pano Panagia stage.

"I basically didn't have the correct thing in my notes," he said.

"It was a left and then an immediate right. I came too fast into the left and had to turn immediately into the right. I managed to turn it, but there was a little drop and we got stuck."

Although the crew were unhurt, they had great difficulty getting their Ford Focus back on the course, eventually rejoining amongst the Production cars after a 21 minute delay.

"There were no spectators (to help)," Latvala explained. "I ran one kilometre to try and find spectators. We were working really, really hard to get back on the road."

Sebastien Loeb continues to lead the rally as damp conditions this morning have minimised the disadvantage of running first on the road, while Hirvonen has taken second place from Sordo.

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