Rally driver Jari-Matti Latvala and his co-driver Miikka Anttila say they spend about 200 days a year together, and have done so for the last 15 years.
So, it’s no wonder that they’ve got to know each other pretty well.
In fact, their success on the track depends on it. “We need to be good friends and have a good relationship,” says Anttila. “Otherwise it wouldn’t work.”
Their characters complement each other. Anttila is calm and precise, says Latvala — “more precise than the clock himself.”
Whereas, Latvala’s passion for the sport keeps them motivated, says Anttila.
The Finnish pair have been racing together since 2003, with a spell at Ford and Volkswagen. They joined the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team for the 2017 season, clinching a victory at Rally Sweden and second place finishes at Monte Carlo and Italy. So far in 2018, they have claimed third place at Monte Carlo and Finland.
If they hadn’t made it into the world of rally, both have a good idea of where the other would be.
“I think (Latvala) would be a salesman in his father’s company,” says Anttila, receiving confirmation from his teammate.
While Latvala speculates that Anttila would still be an engineer working for the Finnish company Nokian Tyres.
Most importantly, the pair know exactly what to order each other in a restaurant — on both the race days and the rest days.
Anttila would order Latvala pasta before a race and steak the rest of the time.
“At race time (Anttila) likes chicken,” says Latvala. But on a normal day, it would be steak and fries, with an extra side of ketchup.