In pictures: Top Gun Rovanpera

Rising star Kalle Rovanperä took a break from wowing crowds on the WRC stages to put on a thrilling show from the cockpit of a fighter jet at the weekend.

The 17-year-old Skoda Motorsport driver was invited to take part in celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the Finnish Air Force.

He was joined by Mercedes F1 driver Valtteri Bottas in climbing aboard Hawk advanced jet trainers to take part in the 'Flying Finns – Challenge in the Sky’ show.

Both men took off from Tikkakoski Airport which is located near Jyväskylä, the host town of Neste Rally Finland (26-29 July), and were put through their aerobatic paces in front of 16,000 spectators. They were later described by their respective pilots as 'extraordinary talents'.

As well as observing the flying skills of his pilot at close quarters, Rovanperä was also allowed to take control – under supervision – to perform a stomach-churning barrel roll.

Swapping the cockpit of his Skoda Fabia R5 for that of a fighter jet was an experience that Rovanperä is unlikely to forget.

After getting his feet back on solid ground, he told Moottoriurheilu.tv: "That was a really cool thing! Great thanks to the people who made it happen: the Air Force, the Aviation Administration and the AKK.

"If my rallying career doesn't progress, then perhaps I can change to this instead," Rovanperä joked.

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