Jari-Matti Latvala smiles as he reaches the bottom of the stairs. "It was Luis," he laughs. "He burned the toast." On the morning that would potentially define the rest of his career, the Rally Finland leader's journey from bedroom to breakfast had been interrupted by a fire alarm.
All of Jyvaskyla was interrupted by the arrival of a fire engine after two-time world champion co-driver and Volkswagen team member Luis Moya relied too heavily on the pop-up feature of the Sokos Paviljonki toaster.
But nothing, not this, not the loss of brakes on his Volkswagen Polo R WRC and not a lead subsequently slashed from half a minute to three seconds could stop Latvala.
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David Evans is the rallies editor of Autosport and Motorsport News. A successful rally driving father ensured an early introduction to motorsport and, fascinated as he was by rallying, the fourth estate was of equal interest. Having read (or at least looked at the pictures) from the age of two, he joined <i>Motoring News</i> in 1996 and later moved to Autosport in 2002.@davidevansrally More features by David Evans