Kalle Rovanperä has explained that an “optimistic” pacenote was what led to him crashing out the lead of Ypres Rally Belgium.
Rovanperä began round nine of this year’s World Rally Championship with a slim but mathematical chance of clinching his first world title, and was leading the rally by 2.5 seconds over Elfyn Evans after the opening stage.
But on SS2, Westouter – Boeschepe, Rovanperä ran wide through a quick right-left sequence, hit a ditch and rolled a number of times before his Toyota came to rest on its wheels.
He and co-driver Jonne Halttunen both emerged from the accident unharmed.
“There were two corners; the second one of them I think I just had a bit too optimistic a note on that,” Rovanperä said.
“I had the corner as a short corner, went too early in and couldn’t make the corner, then we went out and hit the ditch.
“We checked the car a bit. It’s difficult to say if everything is OK, if the rollcage is OK, but we will see it when the guys can check the car in service.”
There had been a bit of commotion at the start of the stage where Rovanperä and Halttunen both looked frustrated by a stage delay and how that was handled, but the 21-year-old was quick to quash any suggestions that this caused his concentration to wane.
“Yeah, 10km in [to a stage] things like that shouldn’t affect anymore,” Rovanperä said.
“For sure the mess in the start was not nice. I don’t know what they were doing, big mess on the start-line for us but, yeah, it shouldn’t affect anymore.”
Although Ypres is very likely to be the lowest scoring round of Rovanperä’s season to date, he will still head home with at the very least a 64-point lead.
Asked what his mindset was given this still healthy championship lead, Rovanperä said: “We just need to continue to work hard, push hard and start to win again.”