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Hat trick for Jari in Sweden

2014-02-10 07:45

IN THE LEAD: Jari-Matti Latvala (inset right) and his co-driver Miikka Anttila won the Rally of Sweden on Saturday in Hagfors, putting them on top of the WRC standings. Image: AFP

KARLSTAD, Sweden - Finn Jari-Matti Latvala has won the 2014 Rally of Sweden, almost a minute clear of VW team mate Andreas Mikkelson, to take control of the World Rally championship.

Latvala, winner in the snow in Sweden in 2008 and 2012 when driving for Ford, took the lead on Friday (Jan 7 2014) after reigning champion Sebastien Ogier lost his chance of success when he rammed his VW Polo into a snow drift.


Latvala told the WRC's website: "It's my third win here - I'd never won the same rally three times. It feels amazing to win here, it's something very, very special. It's a long time since my win in Greece in 2013. That was more about tactics and saving the car but this is a high-speed event so it gives me confidence that I can also win high-speed rallies.

"I really needed a good result here."

Third was Mads Ostberg, only six seconds behind fellow Norwegian Mikkelson.


Latvala won five of the 23 special stages and comfortably held off the chasing pack after hitting the front from the 10th special.

Ogier, attempting to follow up 2013's win in Sweden, saw his chance of success disappear while careering off the road on Stage 8.

The Frenchman made a huge effort to get back into the race, eventually finishing sixth but more than four minutes late.

Latvala now tops the overall Drivers' standings on 40 points from Ogier (35) and Ostberg (30).

The next race, the third in the WRC season, will be in Mexico starting on March 6.

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