Thursday | 26 Jun 2014

Penalty pressure in Poland

The Lotos 71st Rally Poland service park was turned into a temporary football stadium last night when Hyundai Motorsport organised a World Cup-themed penalty shoot-out for the leading drivers to take part in.

The Korean manufacturer is an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup and its drivers were joined by their rivals from Citroen Racing, M-Sport and VW Motorsport for the light-hearted competition.

Some of the WRC’s veteran journalists slipped on their goalkeeping gloves to try and prevent any goals being scored, but they weren’t very successful.

Of all the drivers that took penalties – some of them proudly wearing the national football shirt of their own country – only Dani Sordo and Juho Hanninen failed to find the back of the net.

Jari-Matti Latvala shoots for goal in the Rally Poland service park

Citroen’s Mads Ostberg, who scored his two penalties, even admitted to getting in some secret practice before the tournament. “I downloaded a football game on my iPad before I came to the rally to try some penalties. I’m not sure it really helped,” he joked.

The competition took an unexpected twist in the closing stages when Sebastien Ogier challenged team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala to a mini competition.

Ogier, who spectacularly beat Latvala at Rally Sardegna earlier this month, didn’t have luck on his side this time, though. Latvala saved his penalty before scoring against his rival when it was his turn to shoot for goal. "That felt a little bit good,” Latvala admitted.

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