Rovanperä kicks off Toyota’s first post-lockdown WRC test

Kalle Rovanperä racked up around 150 miles during Toyota's WRC test near Rally Finland stages


Kalle Rovanperä opened Toyota’s test week in Finland with a mammoth day of running in the Yaris WRC.

The 19-year-old had to be prised from the car at lunchtime, completing 75 miles of full-chat running through the morning and a similar amount in the afternoon. The Yaris WRC ran without fault throughout a hot and dusty day on a smaller, more narrow road than typically associated with this area of Rally Finland heartland.

“The feeling is good to be back on this space,” Rovanperä told DirtFish. “We have had some perfect weather today, with a nice road – testing in Finland like this is always the best.”

The team remained on a single 3.75-mile road all day, with ruts appearing out of the softening surface through the afternoon.

Rovanperä’s boss Tommi Mäkinen attended the test on Monday and admitted he was glad to be back.

“Finally,” said the Finn. “Finally we are back. We have done as much preparation as we can. Our operation in Estonia closed last week and they stayed on holiday, but our R&D [facility, in Puuppola] is still working.”

Mäkinen will return to the test tomorrow, when world championship leader Sébastien Ogier takes over the test car. Much as Mäkinen will be keen to see the six-time champion back behind the wheel, he’ll also be keen to catch up on Ogier’s thoughts about his future beyond the end of this season.

Mäkinen told DirtFish he intends to begin discussing the potential to keep the Frenchman for a second season while they’re together this week.