Latvala scores first win by taking Rally Acropolis


Jari Matti-Latvala and codriver Mikka Anttila taking on Greece’s signature rocky terrain in their VW Polo. AFP PHOTO

LOUTRAKI, Greece: Jari-Matti Latvala clinched Rally Acropolis after 14 grueling special stages.

Driving a Volkswagen Polo, the 28-year-old finished almost two minutes ahead of Dani Sordo in a Citroen DS3, with Thierry Neuville, driving a Ford Fiesta, coming in third a further 24 seconds behind. Latvala had led since the rally’s second day when Evgeny Novikov hit a bank and broke a wheel on the fourth special stage.

“It feels amazing,” Latvala said. “It was a tough start to the season and this was an important moment. It has been 10 years since I drove my first World Rally and it has taken me all that time to win.”

Once Novikov was ruled out of overall contention, Latvala had things his own way as Sordo drove conservatively.

The event was the sixth in the 13-leg World Rally Championship, which is presently led by Sebastien Ogier, who finished 10th in Greece because of a mechanical problem during the early stages.


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