Thu 18 May 2023

Rovanperä earns plaudits from team principal Latvala

Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has praised Kalle Rovanperä for finding the ‘missing pieces from the puzzle’ and landing his first FIA World Rally Championship win since September.

The younger of the two Finns scored a dominant victory at last week’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal to open up a 17-point lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings.

Talking about Rovanperä’s win, his first as a world champion, Latvala said: “We are feeling really happy with this victory in Portugal.

“On Friday things were looking quite difficult for us because we lost two cars (Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta) and only had one left in the fight. But Kalle was driving superbly and in the end it was a dominant victory with a great Wolf Power Stage win as well.

“Even if he hasn’t been winning recently, Kalle’s performances have still been at a high level. There were just some little things missing from the puzzle which he has found here, with confidence in the car and the motivation and hunger to win.

“When these things came together this weekend, he was unstoppable.”

The flipside to Rovanperä’s majestic win in Matosinhos is opening the road next time out at Rally Italia Sardegna.

“We know,” said Latvala, “that’s not always so easy, but OK. Let’s see what it’s like when we get there.”

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