Rovanperä enters drifting event in Ireland

David Evans catches up with the WRC points leader about his first overseas drifting event


Top of the World Rally Championship after a dream start to the 2022 season, Kalle Rovanperä will aim to conquer the drifting world next weekend when he takes on the best of Europe at Ireland’s Mondello Park.

Rovanperä is a keen drifter in his spare time away from rallies, but he has only ever competed three times before and never outside Finland.

However the 21-year-old has appeared on the entry list for the opening round of the Drift Masters Grand Prix series on May 7-8 in his own Toyota Supra A90 and is looking forward to the challenge.

“I know that Mondello Park is actually a nice track for drifting, it is quite a tough layout,” Rovanperä told DirtFish in between test runs on Wednesday (see below).

“Normally to drive it is not so easy and there have been some really good competitions and good drivers coming out of Ireland.

“At least this year it looks like there are all the guys who have won in USA and everywhere so I think I should be [driving] at one of the highest levels [against] a lot of good drivers.

“For sure I always drive for the good result like every time I put the helmet on, and also in drifting last year I did an event in Finland which had one of the best Finnish drivers or a few of them who have been driving this European championship and Finnish championship and stuff and I won the event.

“It was not my own car, it was a loaner car I drove there, so I think we have a pretty good chance to do some good result [next weekend].

“But I don’t want to say what we can do because I have no idea. And in drifting it’s anyway quite tough because when you start the battles you can drop on the first panel and be dropped out of the competition really early so it’s always tough.”

Rovanperä has previously explained the benefits drifting can have on his professional career in rallying, but he’s purely viewing next weekend’s competition – which falls two weeks after Croatia Rally and also two weeks before Rally Portugal – as a chance to simply enjoy himself.

“For me it’s more just about enjoying driving and just competing without such big pressure and stuff like this, but for sure the focus is really high,” he said.

“The cars nowadays they’re really, really fast, you have a lot of grip so it’s not easy to drive, you need to really drive the car quite hard and when you start to do the battles when you follow the car in front from one meter away and sometimes you even touch with the car and push the car in front, it’s really intense.”

Words:David Evans