Kalle Rovanperä’s manager Timo Jouhki is understood to have opened discussions with Hyundai Motorsport with a view to a sensational Rovanperä switch from Toyota.
The defending world champion is out of contract with Toyota at the end of this season and DirtFish understands discussions are underway with both his current employer and Hyundai.
Jouhki is the man who has delivered some of Finland’s biggest and best world champions, having managed Juha Kankkunen, Tommi Mäkinen and, of course, the 22-year-old. He wouldn’t be drawn on details of discussions, but told DirtFish: “Right now, everything is open for next season and beyond.”
This season is Rovanperä’s fourth with Toyota Gazoo Racing – but his links with the team go back well before 2015, as DirtFish exclusively revealed last season.
Having tested a Yaris WRC aged 15, Jouhki signed a long-term agreement with then Toyota team principal Mäkinen. That agreement allowed Rovanperä to drive his first years in the WRC with Škoda Motorsport, with whom he won the WRC2 Pro title in 2019.
The current championship leader has taken all of his nine World Rally wins with Toyota and has understandably close ties with the team based out of his home town of Jyväskyla.
DirtFish has contacted both Toyota and Hyundai for comment.