Elfyn Evans was quick to admit Rally Estonia hadn’t exactly gone to plan for him and his post-event DirtFish discussion was winding down when his team-mate Kalle Rovanperä arrived into the podium area.
The Welshman couldn’t help but smile.
“That’s mega, isn’t it?” he said. “It’s a great story, great news for him. To be honest it’s been a bit of a long time coming to be fair to him. Everybody believes he deserved it a bit earlier, which he did.
“It’s hard to believe he’s still only 20, but it’s a fantastic story and he’s driven really well.”
Those thoughts were echoed by championship leader Sébastien Ogier.
“It’s about time he was winning!” said Ogier. “I mean, f****** hell, he started rallying 13 years ago so it’s about time he won. I’m just joking, this is a well-deserved victory for Kalle.
“He has been very strong this weekend. I know he was disappointed at the start of the season and now he’s responded on the rally where he was expected to be fast.
“I’m very happy for him and for us, it’s another victory for Toyota.”
Toyota Motor Corporation CEO and president Akio Toyoda was also very happy with another win for his firm.
“Kalle, Jonne [Halttunen, co-driver], congratulations on the victory,” said Toyoda.
“I’m really relieved that you could finally go flat-out throughout the rally and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has this feeling. Everybody in the team must be relieved as they have been watching the crew going through a tough season.”
Toyoda also praised team principal Jari-Matti Latvala in his response to having his own 13-year record as the WRC’s youngest ever winner broken.
“Jari-Matti [Latvala, team principal] had the record of the youngest WRC winner at 22 years old,” Toyoda added, “and now 20-year-old Kalle broke the record. How was Jari-Matti feeling about this moment coming? A member of the team told me he was just simply happy that the young star from the same country as him set the new record. As the team owner I was very proud to have such a team principal.”