Rovanperä dismisses Rally2 switch

Toyota star Kalle Rovanperä says Rally1 remains the way forward for the World Rally Championship's top level

Kalle no Rally2

Reigning World Rally Champion Kalle Rovanperä has warned against moving the WRC’s premium category to Rally2.

The future technical direction of the WRC was discussed in London last week, with a shift to the lower class proposed as a way to garner more manufacturer involvement and increase the depth of competition in the series.

The three Rally1 manufacturers competing in WRC voted against such a move. DirtFish understands the technical regulations for 2025 onwards are still under FIA-led stakeholder discussion – but the step down to the more economical formula is seen as increasingly unlikely.

Rovanperä told DirtFish Rally1 was the right level for the pinnacle of rallying.

Andreas Mikkelsen

The 23-year-old said: “Personally, I think we need more exciting cars [in the premier class]. If you compare videos or look from the side of the road [at] Rally1 and Rally2 cars, for sure, Rally2 are fast and they are nice cars… but compared with Rally1 it’s a different world.”

Rovanperä is one of the drivers in the series with some of the most recent tier-two experience. He was competing in an R5 category (forerunner to Rally2) as recently as 2019.

The two-time world champion added: “Like I said, Rally2 cars are nice, they’re good cars. I tested the Yaris [Rally2] and the chassis, everything is really nice and I enjoyed the car.

“But, if we really wanted to go [with them as the top class in WRC] we would need to increase the power and the show from the car. When you are in the forest you really need to feel that the rally car is coming. I’m not convinced Rally2 would be the right choice – maybe Rally2 on steroids.”