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GP Week : Issue 13
GPWEEK: What can you recall of that event five years ago? JARI-MATTI LATVALA: Five years ago I came to do the Acropolis Rally for the first time. I was 18 at the time and it was very exciting. It was my first rally with a factory team, only my second world championship rally, my first time with a World Rally Car. I had zero WRC experience. I remember how excited I was before the rally and all the way through as well. I remember just how tired I got, because of the heat. It was all completely new for me. Long days of rallying but it went well. We ended up tenth overall. I kept on wondering how those top professional drivers could go so fast. They were consistently 1 to 2 seconds per kilometre faster than me. How could anyone go that quickly? Five years later I have almost reached that speed but still there was another question, how to keep that speed up all the time, from the start to the end of the event. I still do not have the consistency that you need but we are a lot further down the line than we used to be. Now I am certainly more confident than I used to be. The one thing that really has not changed for me, it is loving the sport, enjoying what we are doing. So, what is the secret of getting better? It has to be about experience, learning from mistakes. One Latvala: How Time Flies! Five years ago, on the Acropolis, an 18 year-old lad became the youngest works driver to become a world championship driver. Last weekend he reflected with MARTIN HOLMES on what the experience had been like and how things have changed in the sport since then 26