Jari-Matti Latvala appeared to be in control of Rally Argentina until his Ford sustained a broken compression strut on SS13 today, dropping him to second behind Sebastien Ogier. Ford's Malcolm Wilson explains what happened
Q. What happened?
Malcolm Wilson: He's broken a compression strut. It's a TCA and compression strut combined, but it's the compression strut which has broken.
Q. He's hit something, then?
MW: Yes, that's pretty obvious. Near the end, it's in the last sector that's he's lost all the time.
Q. What's the effect of a broken compression strut?
MW: The wheel goes back into the arch.
Q. What's he got onboard to try and fix it?
MW: Not a lot. He's got some spanners and a ratchet strap, things like that.
Q. Has the compression strut bent or snapped?
MW: I would say it's probably bent first and then snapped. He can maybe try and connect them [the snappers] to the side [to act as a splint].
This is not a lightweight part, it would have taken quite a force to bend and break it. It's obviously been a big impact. These things can take quite a battering, but he's obviously hit something stronger than the compression strut.
Q. How much hope do you hold out for his repairs?
MW: I don't think so... he's going to lose a mountain of time. The question is whether he'll lose more than if he super-rallied.
Q. How do you feel?
MW: You can imagine. The great effort we put in here and it doesn't seem as though somebody up there wants us to win at the moment.
Q. This rally wasn't there for the taking, but you were certainly in the fight here...
MW: We were and we were going to be in the fight again tomorrow.