Latvala gets suspended ban for spectator incident
WRC frontrunner Jari-Matti Latvala has been handed a suspended ban and a 5000€ fine by Rally Monte Carlo stewards, who put him at fault for not checking on the spectator he hit in Saturday's Stage 11.
The Finn spun out to the spectator zone after sliding into a water ditch and collided with a photographer at low speed.
He carried on driving - and, after the stage, claimed he didn't know he had knocked over the photographer, blaming low visibility.
However, after hearing testimony from WRC TV reporter Julian Porter and viewing Latvala's onboards, the stewards concluded that it was "not plausible" that the Finn had been unaware of the collision - as the spectator "could be seen quite prominently on the bonnet and right in front of the windscreen".
As such, for failing to check on the photographer as per regulations, Latvala was given a suspended ban for one WRC rally, which will come into force should he commit a similar infringement.
In addition, Latvala and his co-driver Mikka Anttila were jointly fined 5000€.
Latvala was forced to retire at the end of the stage, having taken too much time to repair the suspension damage he had picked up in the incident.
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