Monday | 11 Oct 2021

Rovanperä receives green light for Spain

Kalle Rovanperä has been given a clean bill of health for this week’s RallyRACC Rally de España (14 - 17 October) following his accident at the previous FIA World Rally Championship round in Finland earlier this month.

The 21-year-old Finn hurt his back when his Toyota Yaris World Rally Car crashed into an earth mound during Secto Automotive Rally Finland’s second leg.

While he returned for the final day of action in Jyväskylä, as a back-up points scorer for Toyota Gazoo Racing in case team-mates Elfyn Evans or Sébastien Ogier had problems higher up the order, Rovanperä drove at a much-reduced pace and avoided any jumps.

After a few days’ rest, Rovanperä joined last week’s team test and a Toyota spokesperson confirmed he would be fine for the penultimate round.

Video: RallyRACC - Rally de España trailer

“He hit the sandbank, his arms were a bit crossed and when it hit, his arm was pushed backwards and he got some pain in the back,” explained team principal Jari-Matti Latvala.

“We just wanted to have him drive [on Sunday morning] in case something happened to our main two cars, so he could secure the championship points.”

Toyota is 61 points clear of Hyundai Motorsport in the manufacturers’ championship fight and can secure the title in Spain. Rovanperä is a fan of the smooth asphalt near Salou but this will be his first drive there in a World Rally Car.

“I have done it twice before in WRC2 [and won the class in 2018]. The roads are really fast and flowing. They’re a bit different to the other rounds we normally do on asphalt. It’s more like circuit driving and you need to be really precise, but when you get it right, it’s really enjoyable,” he said.

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“The characteristics were quite different [at the last asphalt WRC round] in Ypres, but there I had a good feeling in the car in asphalt specification, and I hope we can have that again in Spain and fight for a good result for ourselves and the team.”

• Full coverage from RallyRACC Rally de España will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.

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