Tuesday | 23 Mar 2021

Kalle’s conviction flourishes as he chases first WRC win

Points leader Kalle Rovanperä says his confidence is growing that he can challenge for victory on most rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship.

The 20-year-old Finn is chasing his maiden WRC win and was among the favourites for last month’s Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox. Ultimately the Toyota Gazoo Racing star had to settle for second place.

Rovanperä was well acquainted with the Lapland territory and conditions and was in a similar situation at last year’s Rally Estonia, a country where he competed ahead of his WRC debut.

While he knows the WRC’s return to Tartu and Finland’s second WRC 2021 counter in Jyväskylä will be strong events for him, more seat time in his Yaris is helping to grow his confidence on other rounds of which he has less knowledge.

“I do feel quite confident with the car now,” he said. “And, yeah, I think I would be in contention [for a win] most everywhere. Of course, there are still rallies where the other guys are having a lot more experience than me – these places are not so easy.

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“But the team and the car, everything is working really well. Finland was a bit frustrating but, OK, we come away from there and we are leading the championship and that’s a positive. Now I’m looking forwards.”

And looking forwards means the Croatia Rally’s (22 – 25 April) asphalt, into which he carries a four-point championship lead over Thierry Neuville.

“We had some dry sections in [Rallye] Monte-Carlo and the feeling with the car was good. I think I’m already quite fast with the car in these sections, so I’m actually quite happy to go to a Tarmac rally next,” he added.