WRC: Latvala claims record-breaking win at Rally Finland

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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.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.