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Friday, September 24, 2021

Matured Rovanpera is a ‘full’ WRC driver

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Rovanpera as soon as once more underlined his potential after recording a dominant efficiency to attain a second profession win at last weekend’s Acropolis Rally.

The 20-year-old, who turned the WRC’s youngest ever winner at July’s Rally Estonia, blitzed his rivals on Greece’s well-known gravel exams, successful eight of the 15 phases to beat Hyundai’s Ott Tanak by 42.1s and declare the Energy Stage bonus factors.

It was Rovanpera’s fourth podium of the season after a second on the snow at Arctic Rally Finland and wins on gravel in Estonia and Greece that sandwiched a 3rd on tarmac in Belgium final month.

Latvala believes that Rovanpera has proved he’s a whole driver and is anticipating extra victories from the brand new flying Finn, however is conscious to not put an excessive amount of stress on the rising star.

“When you’ll be able to drive on the snow, tarmac and gravel then you’re a full driver. I imply Kalle has the efficiency on all of the surfaces,” mentioned Latvala.

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“Should you win your second occasion of this season, which I might say is his first full season within the WRC as a result of final yr I don’t rely as a full season due to COVID, so he should have the weather to develop into a world champion,” he added, when requested if he thought Rovanpera is world champion materials.

“However I need to remind additionally, as Seb Ogier is aware of, successful the championship is troublesome. You have to have a little bit of luck and also you want all of the issues to return collectively so that’s one other problem.

“For certain Kalle has achieved one step on his profession and we are going to see nice performances and nice victories from him, however let’s not an excessive amount of stress on the younger man but.”

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Picture by: Toyota Racing

Having carefully watched Rovanpera’s progress since becoming a member of the Toyota WRC crew final yr, Latvala feels his driver has matured considerably this season.

“It’s actually superb to see his efficiency and the way calm and the way mature he’s,” he mentioned.

“He’s been rising up throughout this yr he has taken a 5 yr step ahead with how he’s and his character.

Reflecting on his victory, Rovanpera admitted that he didn’t anticipate to be snug on the difficult Greece phases and was not sure if this drive was higher than his victory in Estonia.

“It’s troublesome to say if this was [a better drive] however I might say Estonia I used to be anticipating it a bit extra and I feel everybody else additionally knew I might actually be quick there,” mentioned Rovanpera.

“Coming right here there was extra a query mark about our tempo total; we couldn’t be so certain what’s the tempo, however I feel once more after we knew this yr it will be a brand new occasion within the calendar not all people knew the phases, so it all the time helps as all people has to make new notes.

“I feel we confirmed fairly effectively on the primary loops that we might be actually fast when the others don’t have the expertise of the earlier years. I feel it was a very good race from us, I don’t know which one was higher.”

Rovanpera sits fourth within the championship standings solely seven factors behind second-placed Evans heading into Rally Finland subsequent month.

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