Jari-Matti Latvala got a perfect start in his new role as the manager of the Toyota Rally Stable at the World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo, which ended on Sunday.
The Japanese automaker took a double victory in the opening rally of the season when Sebastien Ogier already grabbed a record eighth in first place in the classic race and Elfyn Evans finished second.
- It was a great weekend.
It was almost perfect.
We got maximum points in the manufacturers ’World Championships and four cars among the six.
By no means did I dare to dream of such a thing, Latvala glowed.
- We were really strong as a whole.
It just says we have a very good car, drivers and the whole team.
It even feels like it was too easy to get into the first race when everything worked so nicely.
I know there will also be difficulties during the season, he added.
Jari-Matti Latvala makes his debut in Monte Carlo as Toyota's team manager. Photo: Willy Weyens / Lehtikuva
The triple victory was also close, but Kalle Rovanperä lost his grip on the bronze spot to Sunday's tire failure.
Hyundai's Thierry Neuville wedged third in front of Rovanperä.
The top spruce was complemented by Hyundai’s Dani Sordo and Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta.
- Really great performance from Kalle.
He was at a great pace right from the start.
It is annoying, of course, for Kalle that that tire went and could not race until the end.
- On the other hand, Kalle was one place better than last year, and the difference to the top was also smaller, Latvala reminded.
Read more: Double victory for Jari-Matti Latvala's Toyota protective roads!
Kalle Rovanperä: “Basically a nice weekend, but ...”
Latvala, who drove his last World Rally Championship less than a year ago, admitted that there was enough excitement in the task of the team boss, but in a different way than as a driver.
- This time was different.
In principle, the pressure is similar.
As a driver, you can influence the result yourself, but as a team boss you can't.
It has no influence now.
You just have to make sure that everyone has a good feeling and everyone plays together, Latvala stated.
- After all, making the result is in the hands of the drivers.
That way the weekend was different.
The first race in this job and immediately a result like this.
You can't really ask for more here.
World Rally Championship 1/12 competition, Monte Carlo Rally:
Results after 15/15 special stage: 1) Sebastien Ogier France, Toyota 184.108.40.206, 2) Elfyn Evans Britain, Toyota 32.6 seconds behind, 3) Thierry Neuville Belgium, Hyundai –1.13.5, 4) Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen Finland, Toyota –2.33.6, 5) Dani Sordo Spain, Hyundai –3.14.2, 6) Takamoto Katsuta Japan, Toyota –7.01.3, 7) Andreas Mikkelsen Norway, Skoda –7.23.6, 8) Gus Greensmith Britain, Ford –8.21.1, 9) Adrien Fourmaux France, Ford –9.15.8, 10) Eric Camilli France, Citroen –10.41.1.
Ek12, 9.30 km: 1) Ogier 8.47.6, 2) Neuville –0.7, 3) Evans –8.0, ... 23) Rovanperä –56.2.
Ek13, 14.31 km: 1) Neuville 11.29.6, 2) Evans –4.5, 3) Ogier –5.8, ... 5) Rovanperä –19.3.
Ek14, 12.93 km: 1) Ogier 8.42.6, 2) Sordo –2.7, 3) Neuville –4.6, ... 6) Rovanperä –13.8.
Ek 15, 14.31 km: 1) Ogier 10.56.2, 2) Rovanperä –3.2, 3) Evans –4.5.
Next competition: 26-28.