Latvala baffled by damage
|By David Evans||Sunday, May 29th 2011, 10:31 GMT|
Jari-Matti Latvala says he remains mystified by the cause of his retirement from the lead of Rally Argentina.
The Finn arrived back in Villa Carlos Paz late last night and said the first he knew of the problem on his Ford Fiesta RS WRC was when he almost lost control of the car under braking late on the Las Bajadas stage yesterday afternoon.
"I felt something in one corner and thought: 'What was that?' but I didn't pay so much attention to that, but then, let's say, four kilometres before the end of the stage we almost went off the road under braking," Latvala explained.
"Suddenly, the tyre was moving back under braking. The TCA had caught the impact and it had bent. It has three fixing points and later in the stage one of those fixing points snapped and the wheel was quite free.
"I don't know what it was that I hit, I think it was maybe something in the rut, a rock or something like that - I don't remember hitting anything and thinking that was it."
Latvala will return to the stages today, with the aim of collecting maximum points from the power stage.
"I will attack on the power stage, that's all I can do now. It's so disappointing for the whole team what has happened. This feels bad, it feels like I have given the victory to Sebastien Ogier. Rally can be the hardest game."
Latvala had led the event from the second stage until his problem on SS13. He restarts the final day in eighth place, five minutes behind seventh-placed Matthew Wilson.
Ford's sole hope for victory on this event is now Mikko Hirvonen, who is running second, 43.7 seconds behind leader Ogier.