Rovanperä won’t risk it all for a Finland win

The world champion is seeking his first win on home WRC event but is mindful of protecting his championship lead


Kalle Rovanperä has achieved bucket-loads in his still-short World Rally Championship career, yet a win on home soil still eludes him.

But the 22-year-old isn’t prepared to risk it all to get that elusive Rally Finland victory with a second world title on the line.

Rovanperä implored a similar tactic last year, when he was ultimately beaten by Ott Tänak’s Hyundai on his home soil but comfortably beat the Estonian to the title.

This year, he once again heads to Jyväskylä with a strong lead in the championship (55 points) and with the handicap of running as the first car on the road.


Asked by DirtFish if his healthy lead would allow him to risk it all in pursuit of a Finland win, Rovanperä said: “I think it’s the opposite.

“It would be stupid to also mess up the rally where we can at least have some good points. So it’s a bit of a tricky situation, I don’t want to ruin the good championship [position] at the moment, we are happy doing all the time good rallies in a quite clever way.

“For sure I will try to push at the home event, but Ott with that starting place [fourth] will be really fast like we know.”

This is of course all just pre-event talk. Rovanperä may be secretly plotting something else, or could change his mind if he slips into that effortless rhythm like he did in Estonia.

But Toyota technical director Tom Fowler suspects Rovanperä will play the long game too.

Asked by DirtFish if this year was the world champion’s best chance of a Finland win, Fowler said: “I think in theory it shouldn’t be because he’s playing a championship at the moment.

“Rally Finland and playing a championship aren’t usually things that go together very well.

“But at least it looks like Kalle has the ability to do it,” he added.

“The car is there to support him and, as long as everything goes to plan, it should be OK.”