Jari-Matti Latvala stormed to his second victory of the 2015 World Rally Championship season at Rally Finland on Sunday, heading up a Volkswagen one-two alongside series leader Sebastien Ogier.
Latvala took the lead of the rally on Friday following spates in front for Ogier and Britain’s Kris Meeke, and despite coming under pressure from his VW teammate, the Finn enjoyed a lead of 13.7 seconds at the end of the rally on Sunday.
The victory also saw Latvala set a new record for the fastest average speed in a WRC event. His average of 125.44kph broke the existing record of 122.89kph set by Sebastien Loeb in Finland three years ago.
“This was one of the greatest drives of my life,” Latvala said. “I’m proud to be a Finn today. I’ve had a tough season but winning my home event is like winning half a world championship.
“I’ve focused fully on this rally for three weeks. After my disappointment at the last round in Poland, I decided my title hopes had gone and concentrated fully on preparing for Finland. It paid off today.”
The result marked Latvala’s second win of the 2015 season, and also launched him up to second place in the drivers’ standings. He trails leader Ogier by 89 points with five rounds remaining.
Finishing second, Ogier has taken another big step towards winning a third WRC title, and looks poised to wrap it up in Australia in September.
The podium was completed by Mads Ostberg, who moves up to third place in the drivers’ standings following Andreas Mikkelsen’s retirement.