Kalle Rovanperä is keeping cool in more ways than one ahead of Secto Automotive Rally Finland.
Rovanperä, who turns 21 on the opening leg of Finland’s FIA World Rally Championship counter (October 1), is being tipped for a home victory on the high-speed gravel event at the wheel of the Toyota Yaris WRC he shares with co-driver and fellow Finn Jonne Halttunen.
While Rovanperä says driving a World Rally Car on Rally Finland for the first time will be “one of the coolest things” of his career so far, he’s adamant the pressure is off and is keeping cool at the start of a big week for the youngster.
“Driving Rally Finland in a World Rally Car is going to be one of the coolest things for me in my career so far,” said Rovanperä. “A home rally is always different and Rally Finland is something special. It’s normally a really nice event and you can really feel the atmosphere there. Now that it’s later in the year, the conditions could be really difficult if it’s wet and muddy. That could change things a bit but I’m really looking forward to it, and it’s going to be really nice to see the fans cheering for us on the stages. It helps to have three really good rallies under our belt going there, but I think that it’s going to be a tight fight. Hopefully we can have a good weekend.”
Rovanperä starts Secto Automotive Rally Finland on the back of a hugely impressive victory on EKO Acropolis Rally of Gods earlier this month, where he was asked if his latest success would increase the pressure on his young shoulders.
“The pressure is not there yet,” he said. “The home rally is always different, there are so many Finnish people and this is the city where I normally live in Finland – it’s something special.”
Rovanperä made his Rally Finland debut in 2018 and finished fourth in the WRC2 category in 14th overall. He was a fine ninth the following year and won WRC2. After finishing second on Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox in February, Rovanperä scored a breakthrough WRC victory on Rally Estonia in July.
While there are differences between Rally Estonia and Rally Finland, both take place on high-speed gravel stages, effectively making Rovanperä the driver to beat in Jyväskylä based on previous form.
Picture Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT