Here in America, rally racing does not get the coverage it surely deserves. Arguably one of the most dangerous and demanding forms of racing, rallying is most famous in Europe, where daredevil drivers race along mountain roads, through dense forests, and across rough roads all in the name of victory and glory. With the 2012 World Rally Championship season fast approaching, teams from all over the world are getting ready to do battle.

This includes Jari-Matti Latvala, a young Finnish rally driver who now races a Fiesta for the Blue Oval team. This video from Best of Rally Live shows Latvala tackling the roads and slopes of the Monte Carlo course, the opening race in the WRC series.

Latvala got started in rally racing at a young age, getting his first car (a Ford Escort) at the age of eight from his father, also a well-known rally racer. Latvala entered his first professional race at the age of 17, and since then he has raced Ford vehicles the world over. To date his best finish was 2nd place with the Abu Dhabi Ford Rally team.

Latvala is obviously hoping to improve his record this year, and this video shows him out on the Monte Carlo course, prepping for what is sure to be an epic battle. Latvala isn’t the only racer getting ready for the 2012 WRC season though, so he is sure to have his work cut out for him. We’ll be watching this rising star as the WRC season commences.