Thu 23 Mar 2023

WRC champion Rovanpera goes drifting

Reigning WRC champion Kalle Rovanperä will contest four rounds of the 2023 Drift Masters European Championship later this year.

Rovanperä, who became the youngest WRC champion last season at the age of 22, will participate in rounds in Sweden, Finland, Germany and Poland, driving a Toyota Supra A90 that will be run by his own team.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing driver will line up against established drifting stars including James Deane, Piotr Więcek, and Conor and Jack Shanahan. He previously tasted top-level drifting competition in Ireland last year and is looking forward to competing again in the discipline.

"I love drifting, and I am excited because it's a highly competitive series," he said. "For sure, the level in Drift Masters is really high, and we have a long way to go, and I don't have so much seat time in the car. Our target here will be mainly to have fun and enjoy!"

Rovanperä will contest the series alongside his 13-round WRC campaign, with his first drifting outing taking place in Sweden from 9 - 10 June.

The young Finn is currently third in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship. He finished fourth overall at last week’s Guanajuato Rally México, surviving a high-speed scare in the rally-ending Wolf Power Stage.

“It was not an easy weekend for us,” he said after the event. “We lost out on Friday when we were kind of opening the road and then we were a bit behind in the fight for the rest of the weekend.

“I was hoping we could get some more points from the Power Stage; we were pushing really hard and tried everything we could, but we lost the rear wing going wide in one corner and after that I couldn’t really push so much without that downforce.”

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