How Rovanperä can be world champion at CER

Heading into the penultimate round, Rovanperä has a 31-point lead over Elfyn Evans


Sunday could be the day Kalle Rovanperä becomes a double World Rally champion.

Last month’s Rally Chile offered him his first opportunity to seal the deal in 2023, but this week’s Central European Rally presents the Finn with his first tangible chance to etch his name onto the trophy once more.

Starting round 12 of 13, Rovanperä leads his Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans by 31 points, with just 60 to play for the rest of the World Rally Championship season.

That means that all Rovanperä needs is the same advantage as he has now, 31 points, to put the championship beyond Evans’ reach with one round to spare.

However if Evans fails to finish in the top two this weekend, Rovanperä would just need to be 30 points ahead at the end of the rally as Evans needs another win and another second to win to triumph in a tiebreak scenario.

The math is therefore fairly simple this weekend. If Rovanperä outscores Evans he successfully defends his world title, but Evans needs to score two more points than Rovanperä to prolong the battle to Japan.

The only place Evans can finish to deny Rovanperä the championship regardless of what the Finn does is first.

If Evans and Rovanperä are a couple of positions apart before the powerstage, then bonus points could well dictate whether a world champion is crowned on Sunday or three weeks later in Japan.