Jari-Matti Latvala claimed his second win of the 2014 WRC season during Rally Argentina this past weekend. He finished 1min 26.9sec ahead of teammate Sebastien Ogier both driving Volkswagen Polo R WRC. The win saw Volkswagen claim its ninth consecutive win breaking a record set by Citroen. Kris Meeke put Citroen on the podium by finishing in third, this was his second podium finish in the Citroen DS3 this season.
The Volkswagen duo of Latvala and Ogier chased each other throughout the four day rally, with Latvala ending up at the top. At one point Ogier suffered tire and overheating issues which saw him lose valuable time. The final day was even worse for Ogier as the gap between him and Latvala widened. This was due to the thick fog and deep mud in the classic El Condor and Giulio Cesare stages.
Last year I finished on the podium but I couldn’t dream to win here, it’s something special. I crashed in Portugal and there was a risk my self-confidence was down. If Ogier won, there was a chance the championship could become boring, but now we keep it alive.
As for Meeke who finished in third, he was under pressure to perform after crashing in Mexico and Portugal. He put up a good fight against another Volkswagen Polo R of Andreas Mikkelsen, finishing ahead of it by 23.6sec. Mikkelsen is not to be underestimated either. He retired on Friday with a broken alternator but managed to keep his Polo R going throughout Saturday and Sunday to finish in fourth.
Hyundai WRC Team did not clinch a podium finish this time round after their best man Thierry Neuville broke a driveshaft in the early stages of the rally. Nevertheless, Neuville was able to finish in fifth overall ahead of veteran Robert Kubica.
Ogier scooped the maximum points at the Power Stage, he now leads in the standings 112 points followed by Latvala with 88. Mikkelsen and Mads Ostberg have tied at 48 in third. Volkswagen leads in the constructors’ standings with 43 points with Citroen coming in second with a distant 15 points.
The WRC cars will be in action again in the Mediterranean island of Sardinia for Rally Italia Sardegna on 6 – 8 June.