Jari-Matti Latvala was 'man of the match' during a game of WRC all-star ice hockey on Thursday in the run-up to Rally Sweden (14 – 17 February).
Drivers were invited to an ice hockey taster at the service park in Torsby, and when they ventured onto the ice Latvala, who played competitively from the age of eight to 16 at home in Finland, was in his element.
Along with Ott Tänak, Latvala and fellow Finns Esapekka Lappi and Teemu Suninen made a formidable attacking combination as they flicked in goals.
“I love ice hockey so this is a treat,” Latvala said. “I played as a junior on the left wing, but I was’t good enough to make it to the big league. My problem was that as a player I’m too slow. I needed to be faster."
Kris Meeke and Marcus Grönholm also impressed, scoring goals before the game came to end.
“I haven’t done that before, it was interesting, but that puck was heavier than I thought,” first timer Thierry Neuville reflected.
Latvala was sympathetic to the inexperienced players. “When you try this for the first time, it’s very difficult,” he said.
And if Latvala had to pick a team from his WRC rivals? “Marcus Grönholm was quite good and maybe Sébastien Ogier could have potential too,” he said.
“But then you see how good Esapekka and Teemu are. You can tell they are Finns!"