WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Delfi Rally Estonia
Starts: Friday, July 5, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Wed 01 Nov 2023

Rovanperä's road to title number two

Second at the first, three fourths followed and then the winning started. Going into Portugal, Kalle Rovanperä was a point behind team-mates Elfyn Evans and Sébastien Ogier. Exiting Matosinhos, he was in the clear with a lead that would never be toppled.

Last year, a 21-year-old Rovanperä made a flying start to the championship and looked in command throughout his 2022 campaign. This time, there was something of a misfire early doors – but once he and the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 were fully on-song they were again the dominant force.

Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen scored well in Sardinia and Kenya. Running first on the road as championship leader wasn’t kind to them, but they still hooked up a third and second successively.

Victories in Estonia and Greece sat either side of a hefty Secto Rally Finland shunt when they looked well in control and on the way to a maiden home win in Jyväskylä.

The EKO Acropolis Rally Greece success was key for Kalle. Winning from the front was a huge achievement and it put the title within touching distance. A tricky Rally Chile Bio Bío meant he finished behind Evans, forcing the championship challenge back across the Atlantic to the final European round of the season.

Running in the lead of the inaugural Central European Rally, Rovanperä was effectively assured of title two as soon as Evans backed his Toyota into a barn door.

A 44-point lead going into next month’s Japanese finale might look comfortable for Rovanperä, but the Finn’s the first to admit this year was tighter than he would have liked.