Latvala competed in both the Junior world championship - the forerunner to the WRC Academy - and the Production Car World Rally Championship - before he reached the sport’s highest echelon, eventually becoming a factory driver with the Ford team for the 2008 season.
The WRC Academy is gearing up for its second season and Latvala says there is no better category for young stars to learn their trade on world championship rallies.
“The FIA WRC Academy is a great initiative,” said Latvala. “I came through the WRC ranks as a young driver myself and one of the most important things to have is expert guidance the likes of which the WRC Academy provides. You need to learn how to best attack the stages, how to drive on all kinds of surfaces, and how to cope with the pressures of rallying on the global stage. The WRC Academy is the best example of this today and it is great that Ford and M-Sport are supporting the programme.”
WRC Academy aspirants have until 27 February to register for the six-round series, which requires drivers to use identical Ford Fiesta R2s on Pirelli control tyres. For more information contact Kate Rhodes by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +44 1900 828888.