Latvala: Rovanpera's championship approach had been more like Kankkunen

The team principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Jari-Matti Latvala, says that Rovanpera's championship approach at Central European Rally reminded him of Juha Kankkunen and reflects on the title fight between his compatriot and Elfyn Evans.

The young Finn managed to secure his consecutive WRC title at Central European Rally a day ago and backed off his pace since he learned about Evans's exit in Stage 11. In fact, Rovanpera was leading CER from SS4 to SS10, but he was informed by his team that his teammate stopped in Stage 11 after he understeered into a woden shed and damaging the rear right wheel of his Yaris which means that the Welshman was not able to continue with only that stage remaining until the end of Saturday morning. As a consequence of that, Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen decided not to take any unnecessary risk for the rest of the weekend and slipped behind Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe on the classification, but at the same time they were managing their margin from the following crew which was Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja. 

"I’m delighted and really proud of Kalle and Jonne: they really deserve this second championship", Latvala said. 

"Kalle has been amazingly consistent during the season. 

"This title has been tougher for him to win than last year, and Elfyn has been doing a good job to keep the pressure on, but Kalle was able to get it done at the end. 

"I would say his approach has been more like Juha Kankkunen, calculating and thinking about the points you need rather than going for every victory. 

"Elfyn has also done a very nice season. 

"He needed to outscore Kalle here to keep it alive. 

"Unfortunately it didn’t work out for him, but he did all that he could in that situation. 

"Now we have all three titles secured, we will go back to Rally Japan without any championship pressure and ask our drivers to push for the victory there".

Photo Credits: Toyota

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