Mon 11 Sep 2023

Rovanperä attributes Acropolis win to GR Yaris improvements

FIA World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanperä has paid tribute to the work of Toyota Gazoo Racing in turning the GR Yaris Rally1 into an EKO Acropolis Rally Greece winner.

This time last year, the Finnish-based team suffered one of its heaviest defeats of the season, with rival Hyundai Motorsport landing a 1-2-3 podium lockout. Takamoto Katsuta was Toyota’s highest-placed Lamia finisher in 2022, with the Japanese landing sixth overall. This time around, however, Rovanperä led team-mate Elfyn Evans home in a fine GR Yaris 1-2.

“Last year we really struggled with this event,” he said. “The whole team was not really able to fight. But this time, even when I was running first on the road on Friday, the car was fast and I was able to fight with those around me. The car is a lot better [than last year] and I have to thank the team for the work they have done.”

Rovanperä’s perfect 30-pointer moves him 33 points clear of Evans in the title race, while Toyota sits 91 ahead of Hyundai in the manufacturers' battle.

With three rounds to go, and 90 points still on offer, Rovanperä’s taking nothing for granted.

“Nothing is finished yet,” he said. “This is a good result, but we have to stay focused and we have to stay consistent on the rallies coming.”

Rally Chile Bio Bío later this month will be Rovanperä’s first attempt at the Concepción-based event in a top-line car – in 2019 he guided a Škoda Fabia Rally2 to eighth overall.

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