Back to his roots? Yes, you can say that as Ford WRC factory driver Jari-Matti Latvala will compete two weeks before Neste Oil Rally Finland in the auto24 Rally Estonia Historic held on 20 – 21 July. Jari-Matti, who is a Historic rally fan, will drive a rear-wheel-drive Ford Escort RS BDA, prepared by Latvala Motorsport. His co-driver will be Asko Sairanen. Jari-Matti has been to Historic events before: he and Asko Sairanen have won the Lahti Historic Rally twice with Ford Escort. Besides Jari-Matti Latvala and his Escort, you can also find other intersting cars and drivers from the entry list. auto24 Rally Estonia 2012 is the round of FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship.
Jari-Matti´s father, Jari Latvala, competed in auto24 Rally Estonia Historic last year. He took victory in this European Championship event in a Ford Escort RS. Jari Latvala will compete in Estonia this year again, but not in the Historic rally category. He will drive Mitsubishi Lancer EVO III. As father Jari has competed in Estonia several times, for Jari-Matti this will be his second start in Estonia – his first was on the 2003 Winter Rally with a Toyota Corolla WRC when he was only 17 years old.
Jari-Matti Latvala commented: “The Winter Rally in 2003 was my first international victory. I have good memories from that, as the organizing was brilliant and stages were great. This year I am having a free time during auto24 Rally Estonia and as a fan of Historic rally it gives me a chance to participate in auto24 Rally Estonia Historic with Ford Escort RS BDA from Latvala Motorsport. I’m very excited to come to this famous rally!”
Jari-Matti’s Ford Escort was built in Finland in 2009 and rebuilt at Latvala Motorsport in 2012. It has 2-litre engine which produces 287bhp. Jari Latvala’s car is Mitsubishi Lancer EVO III replica. The base for this car was original factory car used by Tommi Mäkinen in Rally Acropolis 1996 (MRE M6). Latvala Motorsport started to build this car in 2010. The engine, transmission and turbo are from the factory car and also lot of other solutions are copied from the factory car. It is now a complete Group A car with modern suspension and electronics.