Thu 21 Jul 2022

Fowler Kalle represents a new approach to the sport

Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Tom Fowler says Kalle Rovanperä’s success this season is partly to do with a whole new approach to preparation for the World Rally Championship.

Everybody knows the Finn has been driving cars since he was eight years old, but Fowler says the WRC series leader’s pace goes above and beyond 13 years behind the wheel.

“The sport has changed quite a lot over the years,” said Fowler, “the days of two people going out and driving and competing with a map have gone. You can see by the way Kalle approaches the sport, he’s doing it in a way that somebody who’s been sim racing for a long time does.

“I’m not sure he’s driving the car better, he’s just driving – and competing – in a different way. You can see this when he’s competing on the sim, he’s not just driving, he’s doing all sorts of other things at the same time: he’s talking to people, he’s typing, he’s doing other stuff. He’s got a lot of capacity to do things. At the same time, I think this new generation of car has come along at a good time for him.”

The hybrid Rally1 car requires a more involved driver than ever, with the regeneration and deployment of the electric boost. That suits the 21-year-old.

Fowler added: “If there is anything that’s a bit old school about the way Kalle’s competing right now, I’d say it’s the way he just clicked with the car. Look back through the sport’s history and you’ll see plenty of examples of drivers who did this and this, I think, is where Kalle is with this Yaris.” 

Rally Estonia Onboard of the Rally: Kalle Rovanperä on the Wolf Power Stage
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