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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Rovanpera not anxious after “fairly a troublesome” WRC Sweden

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Final 12 months’s Sweden winner Rovanpera anticipated a troublesome struggle opening the snow-covered roads because the best-placed of the full-time WRC drivers from the earlier spherical in Monte Carlo.

Rovanpera was in a position to present flashes of pace to attain six stage wins, greater than one other driver, however might solely end fourth after shedding a struggle with Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville. The 22-year-old finally completed 25.1s behind eventual winner M-Sport’s Ott Tanak, who claimed a solitary stage win.

The reigning world champion notably struggled for pace on the second move of phases that had develop into rutted. At instances Rovanpera was essential of his automobile’s set-up and was additionally fortunate to achieve the end after a uncommon wild spin on Stage 13.

To additional define the scenario, Rovanpera even elected to not push to win the powerstage to make sure he would not have to begin the subsequent month’s go to to Mexico first on the highway, dropping to second, three factors behind Tanak within the championship standings.

PLUS: How the WRC title fight ignited in Sweden’s winter wonderland

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Rovanpera wasn’t the one Toyota driver to battle as team-mate Elfyn Evans was unable to breed the tempo that put the Welshman within the victory struggle final 12 months, whereas Takamoto Katsuta, set a quickest time in Stage 4 earlier than harm sustained from a roll on Stage 5 contributed to his retirement.

Requested if he was involved by the struggles this weekend, Rovanpera advised Autosport: “I am probably not anxious, we had been within the struggle fairly properly. Undoubtedly, if we did not have this highway place we might have been higher.

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Picture by: Toyota Racing

“It has been fairly a troublesome weekend however ultimately we might be pretty comfortable.

“[There is] not an excessive amount of [we can take from finishing fourth]. We are able to take that we have to enhance. The second move in these situations we lacked the tempo. On the primary move we had been all the time in stage profitable tempo however it’s not sufficient we would have liked to do it within the second move.

“It was clear that everybody can be a lot nearer than final 12 months.”

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Heading into the weekend, Toyota had solely been overwhelmed in Sweden as soon as for the reason that marque returned to the WRC in 2017, when Neuville triumphed for Hyundai in 2018.

Reflecting on the end result, Toyota boss Jari-Matti Latvala added: “This was actually a rally that we had been hoping to get one thing extra from, on condition that it has often been a powerful occasion for us.

“We suffered a bit on the primary day when the situations weren’t ideally suited for our highway positions and people beginning additional again had been in a position to assault and construct a niche. We tried to struggle again and speed-wise I believe we noticed some Positive indicators, however issues simply did not fairly click on for us ultimately.”



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