Ford duo more relaxed after Rally GB

Autosport

Ford drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg say their double podium on Rally GB victory has allowed them to relax more ahead of this week's Rally de France.

Latvala and Solberg dominated the Welsh event for much of the rally and the pair are both hoping the extra speed they found from their Fords on gravel will translate to the Alsatian lanes this week.

"Rally Germany went well for me," said Latvala. "I was second there and I had a good feeling on the asphalt. The roads on that event are more twisty - here they are faster and more flowing and I like these even more.

"I have a good feeling for this rally. The testing we did went well and certainly the win in Wales has helped the whole team to relax a little bit, it has taken away some of the pressure; we knew we had to win and we knew we could win."

Latvala admitted a repeat of his Cardiff success would not come easy in Strasbourg on Sunday.

"Everybody knows what [Sebastien] Loeb can do around here," he said. "My target is to get closer to him than I was in Germany and keep the pressure on him. I we can do that, who knows."

Solberg added: "The confidence in the car and the speed we found in Wales will definitely come to France as well. It can be a really exciting event in France this week."

The Fords were on the pace at pre-event shakedown, with both drivers running ahead of Loeb.

"The shakedown is not so representative of the rally," said Latvala. "We go a little bit around the car park - but it is quite similar to some of the street stages that we will be doing, so it's important."

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