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Monday, February 26, 2024

WRC champion Rovanpera eyeing 24-hour circuit racing debut

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Rovanpera has declared an curiosity in participating in circuit racing occasions this 12 months after asserting plans to contest a part-time WRC marketing campaign this season to “recharge his batteries”, earlier than making a full-time return in 2025.

The 23-year-old double WRC champion revealed finally month’s FIA Prize Gala that he wish to take a look at a GT automobile, and now he has been offered with a chance to race within the Tremendous Taikyu Sequence’ 24 hours race at Fuji Speedway on 25-26 Could.

Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda revealed throughout a chat present on the Toyota Auto Salon that Rovanpera would drive a Toyota GR86 idea run by Toyoda’s personal group ROOKIE Racing.

Rovanpera’s WRC schedule is but to be finalised, though it’s anticipated that Rally Sweden in February will mark his first spherical after sitting out subsequent week’s season opener in Monte Carlo. 

Photograph by: Masahide Kamio

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Toyota WRC boss Jari-Matti Latvala has confirmed that Rovanpera does have a chance to compete within the Fuji race, however it’s but to be finalised. Latvala can also be more likely to compete within the race once more, having finished so the final two years, driving a hydrogen-powered Toyota GR Corolla.

“This [endurance racing] is the place Kalle has an enormous curiosity. Earlier than Rally Japan final 12 months, we visited certainly one of these occasions within the Tremendous Taikyu collection and when Kalle got here into the pits and noticed all of the vehicles and the ROOKIE Racing group he obtained fairly excited, and he requested Akio if he might be part of, and Akio stated sure. The chance is there if all the pieces is matching time-wise,” Latvala instructed Autosport.

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“The thought was that he could be working [in the car] and it’s 90% there however there’s nonetheless a query mark over his timetable. Akio could be very blissful to see Kalle over there.

“Endurance racing is one thing I personally like rather a lot and I believe Kalle will as properly. This automobile, the GR86, is already a quick automobile. However with Kalle being good on tarmac, and he can do drifting, so I’m certain he’ll do very well on the race circuit.”



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