WRC 2: Rovanperä makes his debut
The championship debut of young rally sensation Kalle Rovanperä is one of the highlights of a packed WRC 2 entry for Dayinsure Wales Rally GB [26 - 29 October].
The son of former works driver Harri turned 17 on 1 October and passed his driving test at home in Finland the day after, making him eligible to contest the championship's penultimate round this week.
Rovanperä Jr [above] will drive an M-Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta R5, and hopes recent outings in Latvia and Finland, where he competed with licence dispensations, will prove beneficial.
“I like to drive in really challenging, slippery conditions and these roads aren’t too dissimilar from some we have in Finland. I hope that will help us and we can have a good rally," he said.
“This will be my second international event, but of course my first WRC event. It’s a really long rally which is very different from what I am used to, but I’m sure it will be a lot of fun."
Another youngster, 21-year-old Ole Christian Veiby, is also looking to impress when he makes his works team debut in the WRC with Skoda Motorsport.
The Norwegian won the WRC 2 category in Poland as a privateer, and has been invited to prove his potential in a three-car squad, driving a Fabia R5 alongside Juuso Nordgren and this year's WRC 2 champion Pontus Tidemand.
"To get this chance for a works team in the WRC 2 is an exciting opportunity for me. This is what I have been working for all these years and it is finally happening. It is amazing," said Veiby.
Ford Fiesta R5 driver Teemu Suninen will hope to make the championship runner-up position more secure, and fourth placed Eric Camilli is another leading contender for the class win in a similar car. Championship regulars Simone Tempestini [Citroën DS 3] and Benito Guerra [Skoda Fabia R5] are also expected to be in podium contention.
Other notable entries in the 24-strong field include Pierre-Louis Loubet, Lukasz Pieaniazek, Max Vatanen, Eyvind Brynildsen and Fabio Andolfi.
Representing the host country are former British rally champion David Bogie in a Skoda Fabia R5, and Ford Fiesta drivers Tom Cave, Gus Greensmith, Matt Edwards and Rhys Yates.
Former championship stalwart Matthew Wilson will also make a special guest appearance, joining the Fiesta runners on his first WRC appearance since a WRC 2 podium at the same round in 2014.
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