Blog: Rovanpera’s road to success

Kalle Rovanpera has impressed even more all WRC fans after securing his maiden title in World Rally Championship at the age of 22 years and one day old and breaking many WRC records.

Everyone knew that the young Kalle would become a WRC Champion one day and this day came on Sunday 2 October 2022 at Rally New Zealand. His native talent and speed were shown very early at his childhood as no one cannot forget the spectacular video at YouTube where the Finn got behind the wheel of a Toyota Starlet at the age of 8 years old and was driving like crazy on snow with a great driveability. His father, Harri, was and is very close to him since the beginning and has taught him many things. Senior Rovanpera adapted Starlet’s seat to his son’s measures when he was a child and the result was amazing: a kid dancing all the way on snow and turning the wheel steering like a professional driver. The young driver has learned many things from his father throughout these years despite the fact that the last one never became a WRC Champion and had only one win in WRC. In addition to that, to drive from such a little age means that he became so familiar with many cars. As a result of that, he became a Latvian Champion and a WRC2 Pro Champion in 2017 and 2019 respectively and these two titles were an early sign of what it could follow. But apart from his native talent and Harri’s influence, what else makes Kalle so special and untouchable?

The answer is simple! To be close to Marcus Gronholm (WRC Champion in 2000 and 2002), to have Tommi Makinen (4-time World Rally Champion) and Jari-Matti Latvala (the most experienced WRC driver) as his team principals at Toyota and Sebastien Ogier as his teammate (8-time World Rally Champion) mean that he had the chance to learn even more things about what he has to do during the rallies and how to think intelligently and to drive maturely. Furthermore, Mikko Hirvonen, a driver who was competing against Sebastien Loeb in WRC and lost a championship for one point over the Frenchman, is member of Kalle’s gravel crew and is responsible for the pacenotes and the info that gives to the last one during the events.  His form is also being improved as he is spending many hours inside different cars (for instance, he took part in drifting events with a Toyota Supra earlier this year and won them showing his capabilities and his adaptability). Last but not least, the mistakes he made in 2020 and 2021 were a learning process for him and made him to grow up even more as a driver resulting in being unstoppable this year after winning six events so far this season and returning Finland back in the winning days after 20 years.

Breaking one record after another (became the youngest driver who wins a WRC event and leads the Championship and broke the record of the legend Colin McRae) and being crowned as a WRC Champion in such a young age are a sign that his future is very bright in rallying. Simply, we could say that Kalle Rovanpera was born to conquer the world of rallying and has the making of winning many championships!

Photo Credits: Toyota

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