Ford’s duo had a mixed start to the new season – Jari-Matti Latvala compensated costly rookie error from Monte Carlo by taking victory in Sweden and Petter Solberg was impressive in both rallies and only due to a late puncture was not able to climb to podium on second round in Sweden.
Both Latvala and Solberg are very experienced on gravel and the surface should also suit Ford, but that wasn’t always enough when faced with Citroën’s armada led by Sebastien Loeb. Luckily for WRC, there are no silly testing bans similar to those in Formula 1 so teams are free to test new ideas and settings and fine tune their setups for upcoming rallies.
In earlier post we saw how Seb Loeb and Thierry Neuville are preparing for gravel rallies and now it’s turn for Ford’s pilots to show their skills. Latvala and Solberg took Fiesta to stages similar to those found in Mexico and Portugal in order to find the ideal setup and perhaps try some new ideas. Testing was especially useful for Solberg, who never drove Fiesta on gravel in competition so every kilometer is very valuable.