Wed 15 Feb 2023

Rovanperä puts friendship first at Rally Sweden

In rallying, success is often measured by individual performance. However, Kalle Rovanperä's support and encouragement for his friend Roope Korhonen is a reminder that sometimes the most meaningful victories come from helping others achieve their dreams.

Twenty-two-year-old Rovanperä has been making headlines for his impressive performances in the FIA World Rally Championship - performances which have already made him the youngest champion in the history of the sport.

But at last week’s Rally Sweden, it wasn’t Rovanperä’s own result which put a smile on his face. Instead, it was that of his close friend Roope Korhonen, who won the WRC3 category on only his second WRC event.

Speaking after the rally, Rovanperä revealed he has been following Korhonen's progress closely and has been offering him a lot of help and advice in recent years.

"I have known him for a few years now and he has been progressing quite a lot in his career, so it's really cool to see," he said. "I have been with him a few times on test sessions and trying to help him quite a bit also. It's nice."

And, while Rovanperä had his own struggles which left him unable to secure a podium at the championship’s second round, he was thrilled to see his friend succeed.

"Last year we did the Rallylegend show event together in a [Toyota] Celica. He was my co-driver for that, and we had some fantastic times together. I hope he will have a good programme this year and he will do well."

For his part, Korhonen - who is two years Rovanperä’s senior - was equally thrilled with his triumph on the snow and ice fixture.

"The result means a lot to me. It's my second WRC3 rally and my first win, and this is my first time in Sweden," he beamed.

When asked if his title-winning friend’s advice had played a role in his success, Korhonen laughed and said: "Yes, Kalle is my friend and of course he has been telling me some things - but not too much!"

Korhonen's win at Rally Sweden has put him in a strong position to compete in further events this year. He will contest four more WRC3 rallies in Portugal, Italy, Estonia and Finland, alongside his national championship commitments back home in Finland.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM