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Fri 18 Aug 2023

How Rovanperä showed team spirit at Secto Rally Finland

With his own dreams of a home win shattered, Kalle Rovanperä couldn’t have been blamed for heading out of town as soon as his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 finished rolling.

He didn’t do that. Instead, he and co-driver Jonne Halttunen stayed to offer support to his team-mates – helping the Japanese manufacturer achieve a double podium at Secto Rally Finland.

The defending world champion helped Takamoto Katsuta in particular with his approach to the second and third day’s stages – something which seriously impressed team principal for the event, Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda.

Toyoda said: “After his rally finished, Kalle was giving lots of advice to Takamoto. This shows we are a real one team.”

Rovanperä and Katsuta had already worked together at the pre-event test, with the Japanese sitting in alongside the Finn to see the championship leader at work.

During the event, he helped Katsuta find further confidence in the car and the set-up for the specific roads which still lay in wait. Katsuta’s speed across the weekend was enough for him to edge rival Hyundai driver Teemu Suninen in a fierce fight for the bottom step of the podium.

Katsuta ended the event offering further thanks to Rovanperä, saying: “I must also say thanks to Kalle who was giving me advice for driving these Finnish roads.”