Everyone has likes and dislikes in life, but for Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä, Rally Italy Sardinia is one he definitely doesn’t look favorably upon.
It’s fair to say the Italian gravel has never been overly kind to the reigning World Rally Champion.
On his three previous visits to Sardinia in a top-tier car, he has only finished in the points-paying positions once – with a fifth on last year’s event.
Prior to that, he finished 25th overall in 2021 (with third on the powerstage providing a small consolation) after a mechanical issue forced him to SuperRally. And in 2020 he crashed out on SS8, sending him into retirement.
According to Rovanperä himself, this year isn’t looking much better either.
He’ll be starting first on the road in Sardinia, and while has won from that position on gravel in the past, he’s not expecting that to be a possibility this weekend.
“I think in Sardinia it will not happen again,” Rovanperä explained to DirtFish when it was pointed out that he has won from first on the road on gravel before.
“It’s definitely the only rally in the calendar which I don’t like in any way, basically.
“So it’s going to be a tricky one, but of course we try to have a good weekend and push for what we can have.”
It’s not just Rovanperä being pessimistic though. His co-driver Jonne Halttunen is already wishing for the weekend to be over, with the belief that there’s no chance of getting a strong result.
“I know, for sure, that it is going to be a disaster for us to be first on the road in Sardinia with the 50km stage, with the tires and the heat,” he said.
“It will be really demanding. Also, maybe Sardinia is not the best event for us overall.
“We will do our best but it will be really tough.”