The man that was voted as most desired to be seen in the British and Finnish versions of Playgirl, is this year pretty much on par with Inessa Tushkanova.
As much as everyone loves Jerry Matt, especially the ladies it seems, he hasn’t been performing as his hype would suggest.
So, time for a little bit of history on the how’s and why’s of why Latvala is just another underachieving Finn in the WRC. Once upon a time, in a WRC far, far away there was a breed if Finnish drivers who seriously kicked ass (can I say that Ed?), think back to the 70’s, the 80’s and even still into the 90’s and 00’s Finn’s were are at the forefront of the WRC. Around the early 00’s a new breed was emerging onto the scene, look, I am not expert in the Finnish education system, if such a thing still exists, or if they made it harder to obtain a high school education, but since this time, Finland has produced nothing but over hyped, car destroying, whinging, sooky drivers.
Our friend Jerry Matt, or if you prefer the Finnish; Jari-Matti, has year after year failed to deliver on the promises of his speed and Finnishness, and more often than not, he has indeed failed to finish. One of my theories, based on historical data, and excluding a 9 times world champion, would prove something clearly obvious, without a doubt, but that’s for my next blog.
So simply put, Latvala doesn’t have the goods, before he blamed the Ford Fiesta and prior to that the Focus, now he has the best car out there and is being beaten well and truly (not Mosley style) by a superbug, flu riddled Seb Ogier. This is the make or break year, like when McRae signed for Citroen, this is it, next year may see Jari-Matti driving a works Hyundai (will they be the Skoda of 2014?)
Ok, and one more thing, Latvala had new specs for Portugal, sure he missed the rocks, or did he? Trying too hard on the final day to hold off his ex-teammate, he broke the car, again. Jerry Matt, you’ll never outdo Neuville in the fashionable specs race!



  1. Why, yes; yes you can. Rally Recce: Rally Rumour Round Up’s Samantha Honeyman estimated my 2012 Finland commentary to have a 70:30 “balls”/”pallit” to (actual) content split. And, I believe I have noted that no one should “fuck with” Ilka “Major” Minor. It’s all about the context 😉

    Okay, the Jerry Matt debate is (always) a solid one. And, the only one who can end it is Jerry Matt, himself. By getting out of his own way. However, while all points and concerns are more than valid, I would be a crappy (crappier?) WRC writer and a total failure to my Finnish heritage if I didn’t point out that Herra Sata Lasissa has been in a whole, new car and with a whole, new team for (only) four rounds. After growing up with Ford. That’s Everest-level acclimatization. And, in that time, he exited Monte-Carlo (in conditions that were scaring the crap out of everyone) whilst in seventh, fought for third to the very end (before landing in fourth) at Sweden (can I point out that Østberg was in, essentially, the same car and with, essentially, the same team and had to fight for the same place – again – as he did in 2012 with Solberg – while Latvala was in his first snow rally with VW?), bounced back up to 16th after his early retirement (and, momentarily, thanks to Gate Gate, had a stage win) at Mexico, and rebounded from what could have been a disastrous 2WD run to hold onto a podium spot at Portugal. He’s (currently) holding down fifth in the Drivers’ Championship. Just think of where he was at this point in the 2012 season – and, how he fought back. If he has half that fight in him (this season), which I believe he will, we could be looking at a VW showdown – with Ogier, who coddled the Polo R WRC from birth – as the season progresses. As Andreas “I AM your Nordic dream, ladies” Mikkelsen distracts everyone. Oh, with his own achievements, not his alarmingly model-esque looks, of course (I firmly believe that he has founded a boy band with Pontus Tidemand). And that would be a huge boost for “the confidence” for Jerry Matt. Which is (really) all he needs. To exit that dark side of sisu (fact: because this is such a problem for Finns, 13 October has been designated ‘Day for Failure’ in Finland as an initiative to recharge positivity). If this is a “make or break” season, I’ll place my bets on “make”.

    Ooohhh, this is going to be an interesting season – for ‘Cookies & Gold Stars’!!! This is exactly why I recruited you. I cannot wait to debate this one to the ground. Even if it means digging my own hole 🙂

    Oh, and, as for the specs… Neuville is all style. Jerry Matt’s choices have specific purposes (there was, actually, an article on his site on this subject last year – I don’t know where it went, but it was there!). It’s not all about matching your glasses to your watch – and what looks coolest when you roll off the road (let’s be honest, both are experts) – for the Finn. Not to undermine Neuville’s abilities (at all). But, it’s true.

    (And, Finland (currently) leads the world in education. In fact, their universities are free to international students, if you’re interested. I hear University of Jyväskylä has some competitive Master’s programs in sports sciences 😉 )

    I cannot wait for the next installment!!!

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