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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Rovanpera to start 2024 WRC season in Sweden

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Rally Sweden has launched a 56-car entry listing for the WRC’s solely snow spherical of the championship that marks the second spherical of the collection (15-18 February).

Rovanpera has opted to cut back his WRC commitments this 12 months to “recharge his batteries” forward of a full-time return with Toyota in 2025.

The 23-year-old was tipped to begin his half season in Sweden having been absent from the entry listing for subsequent week’s season opener in Monte Carlo, the place Toyota will area GR Yaris entries for full-timers Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta, with part-time driver Sebastien Ogier piloting the third automobile.

Rovanpera has beforehand gained Rally Sweden, taking victory in 2022 on his technique to a maiden world crown.

Toyota is but to finalise schedules for its part-time drivers Rovanpera and eight-time world champion Ogier.

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Nevertheless, Toyota WRC crew principal Jari-Matti Latvala has hinted that the WRC’s first-ever go to to Latvia in July is prone to be a part of Rovanpera’s programme.

“We’re nonetheless a bit open [with the schedules for Kalle and Seb],” Latvala informed Autosport.

“I believe what is kind of clear is that Latvia is a rally [Kalle might like to do]. In Latvia he has carried out numerous rallies when he was younger, so that is fairly clear that Kalle likes to try this occasion. It’s nonetheless attainable that each [Seb and Kalle] might be on the a few of the occasions on the similar time.”

Picture by: Toyota Racing

Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

This week Rovanpera has been linked to a possible endurance racing outing on the Fuji 24 Hours race in Might. 

Nevertheless, his inclusion on the Rally Sweden entry listing will imply 4 Toyota GR Yaris Rally1s will function within the rally, together with these of Evans and Katsuta.

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Privateer Lorenzo Bertelli is on the entry listing, mirroring his WRC look on the occasion final 12 months the place he additionally piloted a GR Yaris. The Italian’s entry boosts the Rally1 numbers to 9 automobiles.

The rally may also mark Esapekka Lappi’s first occasion of the 2024 season because the Finn takes over the third Hyundai entry that might be pushed by new signing Andreas Mikkelsen in Monte Carlo. Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak will drive the full-time entries.

The Rally1 area is accomplished by M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux and Gregoire Munster.

Hyundai improvement driver Emil Lindholm can also be on the entry listing, piloting a Rally2 model of the i20 N for the primary time in 2024.

Sweden may also kick off the brand new Junior WRC season, which this 12 months has attracted a report 19 entries.   

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