Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala has labeled tomorrow's opening day of Rally d'Italia as the most important on the fifth round of the World Rally Championship. The event moves south and runs around the town of Oristano for the first time tomorrow, leaving the crews with eight stages and 80 competitive miles without service.
Latvala said: "Tomorrow [Friday] will not be easy. The second stage and the fourth stage, I think, will be crucial. The roads are really technical, always twisting. There is never a straight piece of road where you can afford to relax.
"The other big thing is that the roads are not really natural, where you would want to take the line through the corner it's not possible because there can be some really big rocks.
"Definitely tomorrow is not going to be easy, it's the biggest day of the rally. Having said that, I really enjoy this rally, it is one of my favorites – this is where I had probably my best win, in 2009, so I am happy to be back."
Shakedown winner Petter Solberg agreed, adding: "It's going to be a hard day. The road is never straight and all the time the road is turning over the brow, it's hard to make sure the notes are perfect with just two runs.
"Talking about the notes, because of the rain and because we haven't been here for two years, we have had to write new notes for almost every stage. It's going to be a tough event."