Wednesday | 26 Mar 2014

Latvala eager for Kankkunen duel

Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala hopes this summer’s ‘Helsinki battle’ will give him the chance to go head-to-head with one of his childhood heroes, Juha Kankkunen.

Kankkunen was World Champion in 1986, 1987, 1991 and 1993

Latvala is part of a five-strong team of current WRC drivers that will race against four WRC legends in the Finnish capital on 26 July, one week before the country’s WRC counter.

The legends team is made up of Markku Allen, Tommi Makinen, Marcus Gronholm and Juha Kankkunen, who between them have won 10 WRC titles.

“When I was younger my idols were Henri Toivonen and Juha Kankkunen, and I followed Juha very closely,” Latvala told

“It’s exciting for me to get the chance to actually race against any of the four legends because I have such a passion for rallying. But of course, if there’s one driver I would really like to beat it would be Juha!

The stars of past and present will all drive 2014-spec World Rally Cars supplied by Hyundai, Citroen and Volkswagen. Cars will be allocated to the legends using a lottery system.

Latvala added: “I think it’s going to be a really interesting event. Rallying in city centres gives many people the chance to come and see us. And especially here in Finland, where rally is a big sport, I expect there will be a great atmosphere."