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Latvala surprised by Citroen's decision to run first on the opening leg of Rally Portugal

Jari-Matti Latvala PortugalFord's Jari-Matti Latvala has admitted he was surprised at Citroen's decision to run first on the road on Thursday's opening leg of Rally of Portugal.

Latvala and his Ford team-mate Petter Solberg will be 17th and 16th on the road respectively. The Finn admitted his decision was not an easy one.

He said: "It was difficult, we talked a lot with the team and spent a lot of time thinking about this.

"I was surprised at Citroen's decision, I thought it might be possible that they would send one car [to the front], but I couldn't expect that they would go first and second on the road.

"It is very exciting moment right now to think we have chosen a completely different approach. One option for us would have been to split our cars, with one at the front and one at the back, but we didn't expect Citroen to do that."

Latvala conceded that Ford's stratgegy was the riskier of the two - but added that his position in the championship, 40 points behind series leader Sebastien Loeb, dictated that need to take risks.

"It is the most risky option," said Latvala, "but on the other hand if you always play the safe card then it can give you consistency, but sometimes you have to play the risk card. If we are always playing safe then it could be hard to catch Citroen."

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