Wednesday | 20 Mar 2019

Kalle welcomes Ettala 'on board'

WRC 2 Pro frontrunner Kalle Rovanperä is no stranger to driving fast on snow and ice.

But the teenager raised the stakes when he put his right foot down with professional snowboarder and fellow Finn Eero Ettala hanging onto the side and roof of his Skoda Fabia at speeds of up to 80kph.

While Ettala got his breath back after the ice road stunt in Kuusamo in Finnish Lapland, the Skoda Motorsport driver talked about the challenges behind the wheel.

“The movements needed to be quite soft and controlled. I had to focus on avoiding any sudden or extra moves,” said Rovanperä, who had Rallye Monte-Carlo-style studded tyres fitted to his car.

“We didn’t want to have too much grip which would have been an issue with rally studs in some scenes we filmed. Driving a rally car on an ice track can be described as some sort of dancing. You can just drive and do pretty much what you want.”

Rovanperä is an experienced skier and snowboarder but has no desire to swap roles with the 34-year-old X Games gold medallist.

“Eero’s riding looked incredibly cool and it was super fun to be able to witness it with my own eyes. My snowboarding skills would fall short very quickly trying to do what he does,” he laughed.

Ettala: 'Scary at first'

Ettala admitted to nerves when the stunt started. “It was, of course, scary at first to be hanging onto a rally car. I was afraid Kalle would speed up to 200kph and I’d lose my arm!” he said.

“In the end, it was more scary to be hanging from the window, being constantly aware that I needed to keep my board’s nose far enough from the tyre.”

After packing away his snowboard, Ettala was treated to a flat-out ride by Rovanperä. “It’s crazy how well a rally car can be controlled. It was amazing to get to sit in the same car with Kalle and see him drive. The jumps we did were mind-blowing,” he added.

Enjoy the nerve-tingling action video below - and remember, don't try these stunts at home! This video was produced by professionals with full safety measures in place.


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