Kalle Rovanperä joined a very unique club when he crossed that final finish-line of Rally New Zealand 2022.
History will of course show that he won the first World Rally Championship event back on the land of the long white cloud in a decade, but more than that he became only the 19th driver to ever become World Rally champion.
In just his third season at the top level, and on the weekend of his 22nd birthday, we are already running out of superlatives to describe Rovanperä and his achievements. Suffice to say he well and truly earned this one, and has more than delivered on the potential we all knew he had.
But how does it actually feel to have realized a dream?
Colin Clark was there to grab a couple of minutes with the man in demand to get his initial thoughts on what he has just achieved.
Here’s that Rovanperä interview, in full, just after winning the 2022 world championship:
You are the youngest ever World Rally champion by quite some margin. How does it feel?
Really good. Of course, it’s a big relief when you finally get the job done. That’s the biggest thing that you feel at the moment.
How old were you when you thought you wanted to be World Rally champion?
I cannot remember it, but for sure, when we started to be professionals, that’s the only goal that you can have.
Taking the record from Colin McRae. That makes it even more special
Yeah, for sure it’s special. Yeah for me, I never think about age but still it’s nice and previously it was Colin and now us, I think that’s quite special, so it’s nice for me.
It’s been an incredible season. So many wins, the car has been magnificent, the whole team has been magnificent this year
Yeah, of course, it all comes from the team – the team being really good making the car fast and reliable. That’s the biggest thing, especially at the beginning of the season. And yeah, we could just enjoy the driving and have fun.
You told us you might only do this for four-five more years, what is the future?
I don’t know yet. I don’t need to think about it now.
How will you celebrate? Auckland great for a party
I hope so!