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Being the “smartest driver” earned Rovanpera Acropolis WRC win

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The reigning world champion recorded his third WRC victory of 2023 in one of the crucial brutal and unforgiving occasions in current reminiscence, taking the win by 1m31.7s from title rival and Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans.

The Acropolis is famend for being a rally of attrition however circumstances for this yr have been much more difficult following Storm Daniel, which introduced torrential rain to the area within the construct up.

Making pacenotes was made tough by the climate disrupting recce whereas shakedown was cancelled completely.

Nevertheless, Rovanpera was capable of restrict the harm by beginning first on the highway and was certainly one of solely two common Rally1 drivers to finish the 15 levels with out selecting up a puncture or a mechanical concern.

The 22-year-old Finn did this whereas successful eight of the 15 levels to maintain him firmly within the combat earlier than inheriting the lead after Thierry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier retired with damaged suspension.

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As soon as forward, he claimed a snug win and secured the 5 bonus Energy Stage factors to attain a most 30 factors from the rally.

“It’s a [remarkable win],” stated Toyota’s Kaj Lindstrom, who led the squad this weekend whereas staff principal Jari-Matti Latvala was driving Toyota’s new Rally2 automotive in Japan.

“He’s younger however he’s bloody intelligent. I feel he was the neatest driver at this rally.

“To see him push and take every part out of the automotive, and keep out of bother and save the automotive, he did it actually maturely.

“Once you communicate with him and hearken to his feedback it’s extremely tough to assume that he was born within the 2000s. He’s very mature.”

Kalle Rovanperä, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Picture by: Toyota Racing

Requested if he felt he wanted to be intelligent to win this rally, Rovanpera replied: “Yeah, in fact.

“It’s at all times fairly clear that you’ll want to end and care for the automotive and the tyres additionally, in order that was our plan, to push onerous from the primary place [on the road] however I nonetheless felt that I took care. I didn’t take all of the dangers.”

Rovanpera did throw warning to the wind to win the Energy Stage to increase his championship lead over Evans to 33 factors with three rallies remaining.

“There’s at all times want when you possibly can seize additional factors,” he added. “I didn’t actually wish to give them away both.

“I knew Elfyn was going to be pushing within the combat with Dani [Sordo for second place] so he would get factors, so we would have liked to get factors additionally.”

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