Why Rovanperä is relieved 2022 is over

The year you become world champion is a year to savor, but Kalle Rovanperä is glad to see the back of 2022


He’s secured his first World Rally Championship title, breaking records in the process. On a roll like that, some drivers wouldn’t want the year to end, yet Kalle Rovanperä’s overriding emotion is relief that the current season has now finished.

At 22 years of age, most people spend their entire year full of energy, blowing the candle at both ends, but for Rovanperä it’s started to take its toll.

It should never be underestimated how much energy and focus it takes to win a world championship title, and the Toyota driver is now glad he has a bit of time to recover and re-energize himself for next year.

“It’s good to end the season – I’ve been waiting for it for a long time!” said Rovanperä after a hectic powerstage on dry tires in wet conditions.

“It takes a lot of strength to fight for the title and I’m ready for the holidays now.”

Asked by DirtFish if the season had taken more out of him than he thought it would, Rovanperä responded: “I don’t think more than I thought but for sure it takes a lot.

“Especially the first year fighting for the title you are making a lot of work for it.

“You are stressing a lot and it takes a lot of energy to do everything. So yeah, I was happy to end the season already and get to the holiday mode.”


Rovanperä’s Rally Japan was a tough way for his season to end but he “was expecting it to be”.

A collision into a rockface on Saturday morning while running third unwound his event, as did a bent rim on the very next stage, so his rally essentialy became a glorifed testing session for 2023 thereafter.

“I didn’t really seem to enjoy the stages so much which I already knew before that this is not my style of road so much, so yeah,” he said.

“Also the mistake and the punctures were not making it any easier.”

But now Rally Japan is over, Rovanperä can put all that to one side for a few weeks, take some time and refresh. But how does he plan to relax?

He’s remaining in Japan this week for some PR activities with Toyota, but plans to stay for what he describes as just a “normal holiday”. But it sounds like anything but.

“We go drifting and all the stuff that we like to do.”

Words:Rob Hansford