Ford encouraged by Fiesta's pace

Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson has praised his team for what has been the Fiesta RS WRC's most competitive day in the World Rally Championship so far

Ford encouraged by Fiesta's pace

A returning Jari-Matti Latvala posted fastest times on five of the day's six stages, only missing out on the clean sweep when he suffered a puncture on SS12.

Latvala ran eighth on the road, having retired from day one after his co-driver Miikka Anttila called a pace note wrong on the opening stage, causing the Fiesta to go off the road and damage the steering.

On one of his favourite rallies in the championship - and one he won last time out in 2009 - Latvala came back and drove faster than anybody through day two.

Wilson said: "We've shown the performance of the Fiesta RS WRC today with Jari-Matti setting five out of six fastest stage times, which is fantastic. He's been exceptional today - and Miikka has come back and got on with it tremendously well."

Latvala said: "I feel like I've had a good day. I really love the stages on this rally. We won five out of six stages and the feeling has been really good with the car. Our road position was perfect for setting fastest times in the morning but we had to push much harder in the afternoon to achieve them.

"I was trying to avoid big risks today and was driving at 98 per cent - I left the other two per cent in the service park! I got a puncture on SS12, when we hit a big rock and had to drive five kilometres with a tyre deflating slowly. It was a very fast sixth gear section and we went into a right-hander, a sharp rock pierced the shoulder of the tyre. Otherwise the tyres have been really good, which is very encouraging."

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