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GP Week : Issue 13
important thing is You also need to drive a lot. In the last five years I have taken part on nearly 60 world championship rallies. Another thing is to learn how to learn from mistakes, working out how you can actually improve yourself. How has the sport changed in that time? The rallies were a bit longer, around 400km of stages (today the limit is about 350km), but one big difference is that we had a lot more servicing. Nowadays it is just the quick early morning service, then midday service and the service in the evening. You make more demands on the cars, something for the engineers to worry about, and also for the drivers. You also now have a limit on the number of tyres you can use during an event. You have to think more about the tyres than you used to do. You have to be prepared to change your driving style; you have to be more careful. Rallying now is certainly harder on the cars than it was because you have far less chance to change the parts. The Acropolis has not actually been very good for me, but five years after my arrival on the scene, I had the satisfaction of making my best result on this event so far. Maybe, eventually, I will break through the countless things that seem to get in my way on this event and have another story to tell! Fresh-faced rookie: Back in 2003, Jar-Matti Latvala was an 18-year-old making his WRC debut at Acropolis for Ford, above. These days, he is a fully-fledged factory Ford driver, a WRC winner, and a World Championship contender. WRC ACROPOLIS >> 27