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Mon 20 May 2024

Rovanperä apologises for Portugal crash

Reigning FIA World Rally Champion Kalle Rovanperä has vowed to come back stronger from his second accident in three starts.

The Finn was leading Vodafone Rally de Portugal when he slid wide and sent his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 rolling into the trees. He returned to action on the final day but finished behind team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans and was, therefore, unable to add to Toyota’s points tally from the Matosinhos-based event.

Running at the front of the field through Sunday, Rovanperä admitted he was unable to make the impact he’d hoped for. He finished sixth on Super Sunday and third on the Wolf Power Stage.

“Sorry to them (Toyota) for losing such important points,” said the 23-year-old. “It was nice to be back out Sunday, but it was not easy. Cleaning the road was even tougher than we expected.

“On the Power Stage we really tried our best, I thought it was a good drive and a clean run, but the road was cleaning so much that the guys behind came a bit faster. Still, we got a few points so we did what we could to help the team. It was not the weekend we wanted but we will come back stronger.”

Rovanperä's Portuguese crash followed a Rally Sweden mistake which cost him the lead and forced him into a day one retirement.