Tue 07 Mar 2023

Halttunen gets behind the wheel for Finnish outing

WRC champions Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen endured mixed fortunes on last week’s Jyväskylä Talviralli, a national event they both drove on.

Rovanperä was using the same Toyota Starlet he learned to drive in as an eight-year-old, while Halttunen drove his recently acquired Corolla GT. The combination of the two made the Jyväskylä event one of Finland’s most eagerly awaited rallies in recent years.

Thousands of fans packed into the Killeri trotting track on the outskirts of the city for Friday night’s super special, but the mainstay of the action took place in the famous forests on Saturday.

Sadly for Rovanperä a technical problem halted his Starlet in SS2.

Halttunen continued through the day and admitted he learned plenty of valuable lessons from the other side of the car.

“I had a lot of fun,” he said. “It was definitely a very cool thing to do. But also really useful for me too. I didn’t expect this, but doing the driving has helped me to understand more about what Kalle is needing from me as a co-driver.

“Before I was sitting and reading the pacenotes to him, but now I can see in certain times that he could need them in a different way. This is one of the reasons I want to do more driving, I think it is helping me to do my job better.”

“It was a shame that Kalle had the problem – there were so many people out. The fans made such an amazing atmosphere on the rally, so much cheering in the stages and clapping on the road sections.

“When do I come back to driving? I don’t know, I didn’t look to the calendar yet – now it’s time to focus again to the main job and México.”

Image: Taneli Niinimaki 

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