Mon 18 Sep 2023

Relieved Rovanperä happy to extend WRC lead

Kalle Rovanperä has talked of the relief at rebuilding his lead at the top of the FIA World Rally Championship with a second EKO Acropolis Rally Greece win in three years.

Toyota’s defending champion was 55 points up going into his home round last month, but that advantage was more than halved when he crashed and his team-mate and rival Elfyn Evans took a maximum 30 points.

“Elfyn took a big chunk from us is Finland,” said Rovanperä. “It was important for us to have a good weekend [in Greece]. It was difficult to be first on the road, but there was some hope when the rain was coming on the recce.

“It was a big challenge and a tough week. Elfyn was also making strong points here, so we had to push on the [Wolf] Power Stage to take all the points we could. I didn’t want to give any points away.”

That final-stage Acropolis push was impressive as he lifted 2.5 seconds out of everybody in the nine-kilometre Grammeni test.

“It feels better than after Finland and now we need to stay consistent and focus on the next rallies.”

Following his third victory of the season, Rovanperä takes a 33-point lead into his first attempt at Rally Chile Bio Bío in the WRC’s top category next week.

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