Neuville and Tanak sound the alarm for WRC competition after Rovanpera's announcement

Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak share the same thoughts about the World Rally Championship after Kalle Rovanpera's partial programme with Toyota for 2024 saying that something is going wrong and FIA and WRC Promoter must act immediately to make the sport healthier.

Toyota confirmed its driver line-up for next year in which Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta will have a full-time programme while Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera will share the third Yaris which means that both of them will compete in selected number of events. The Finn clinched his maiden WRC title in 2022 and became the youngest ever driver who achieved to become a Champion in WRC history. He repeated this result by winning his second championship in a row after Elfyn Evans's mistake at Central European Rally. Before the official Toyota's announcement, it was rumored that Rovanpera would have a year off due to military duties or he would have continued with Toyota with a part-time or a full-time campaign. Eventually, the rumors came true as Rovanpera wanted to step back and to do a partial programme with the Japanese team with the intention of his relaxing mentally and physically and of his participating in other sports, such as drifting. This opens up the road for Evans and Neuville to claim their first title in the championship whereas Tanak will have the chance to become a multiple Champion in WRC despite the fact that he has to adapt to his new car after his departure from M-Sport Ford.

"I mean Ogier is not doing a full championship anymore, if Kalle would be out it would be even less contenders for the title fight", Neuville said.

"There are already not a lot, so if there’s even one less I think for the championship… 

"I don’t know what it means for the championship but it shows that something is going wrong".

Finally, Ott Tanak stated:  "If something like this should happen, it shows that the sport definitely has something missing, if a young champion like this even doesn’t want to do the championship obviously there is something very wrong, and I hope this opens eyes from the FIA and promoter.

"But from our side, our approach really doesn’t change. 

"Whoever is competing there, we still have our own job".


Photo Credits: Hyundai

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