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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

‘Supersub’ Rovanpera’s WRC Poland drive surpassed Toyota’s expectations

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Kalle Rovanpera surpassed Toyota’s expectations by delivering a world rally champion’s efficiency to guide Rally Poland onto the ultimate day, regardless of restricted preparation as a last-minute substitute for Sebastien Ogier.

Rovanpera, who has scaled again his World Rally Championship programme to a part-time schedule in 2024, was servicing his jet ski on Tuesday when he acquired the decision to face in for Ogier.

The eight-time world champion was dominated out of the occasion after being involved in a road traffic accident during recce.

Rovanpera headed to Poland with out present process a pre-event check or conducting the same old strategy of analysing onboard stage movies, leaving the Finn firmly on the again foot.

After finishing a rushed recce of the levels simply hours earlier than the rally begun, Rovanpera reeled off six stages wins from seven tests on Saturday to guide the rally by 9.4s over Hyundai’s Andreas Mikkelsen with 4 levels remaining.    

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Reflecting on his efficiency, whereas annoyed by the shortage of preparation and fatigued by lengthy nights analysing movies to hone the rushed pacenotes, Toyota group principal Jari-Matti Latvala Autosport: “World champions have one thing greater than the others and they’re able to stretching themselves extra.

“Now we have seen it with [Sebastien] Loeb and with [Sebastien] Ogier and now with Kalle. I by no means anticipated he can be that sturdy right here with out the preparation.

“You possibly can see that he was a bit bit grumpy on the very starting after which that’s when a world champion can take issues and later when he will get the arrogance, he is ready to assault.

Kalle Rovanperä, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Picture by: Toyota Racing

“It’s positively a really, very sturdy efficiency. One in every of his finest performances was when he was in troublesome circumstances within the rain, like in Estonia [2023], however this [in Poland] the artwork of a world champion.”

Latvala, an 18-time WRC rally winner, is nicely conscious of the work that goes into put together for rallies and was in awe by how nicely his driver has coped with out closely finding out movies earlier than the rally.

“You’ll be able to see this morning he was aggravated as he couldn’t have the stage [mapped out] so nicely in his head,” he added.

“You’ve got the notes, however the distinction as of late is whenever you watch a stage on the video you’ve got that picture [in your head] and the way a lot you should use the street and the way near the sting of the street you’ll be able to go.

“With out that picture [from the videos], you’ll be able to solely depend on the notes and you need to take the danger to go to the sting of the street – and also you don’t know what that’s going to be like.

“So you need to be 100% on the notes, plus typically a bit bit greater than what the notes are saying.

“Within the rally right here, you need to be attacking a bit extra and should drive a bit bit over the word and it is rather dangerous and harmful if you happen to don’t keep in mind how the street is.”

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