ROVANPERA TESTS YARIS AF­TER LAT­VIAN OUT­INGS

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By David Evans

Fif­teen-year-old Kalle Rovanpera tested a Toy­ota Yaris WRC for the first time ear­lier this month.

Son of one-time world rally win­ner Harri, Kalle is un­der­stood to have been con­duct­ing some en­durance tests on the Toy­ota in eastern Fin­land.

Team principal Tommi Maki­nen con­firmed he is con­sid­er­ing this op­tion ear­lier in the sea­son, telling MN: “If we have time, it would be in­ter­est­ing to see Kalle in the car and to see what he can do.”

Rovanpera, who was present with his fa­ther and man­ager Timo Jouhki at Rally Ger­many, said: “I didn’t do so much driv­ing, maybe 18 or 25 miles. It was in­cred­i­ble to drive the car, a real hon­our for me to be in it. I am driv­ing a [Skoda Fabia] R5 car at the moment, so the power and the down­force were very big things for me to get used to. The car was fan­tas­tic – I’m not sure I know how to de­scribe it!”

Rovanpera was back in action aboard the Fabia, dom­i­nat­ing last week­end’s Tallinn Rally in Es­to­nia to win by more than a minute de­spite an en­gine prob­lem on the open­ing day. Tallinn qual­i­fied for the Lat­vian Rally Cham­pi­onship and Rovanpera has won two of the five LRC rounds he’s started this year and fin­ished sec­ond on the other three. He’s al­ready got his eyes on the world stage.

“I am 15 for one more month,” he said. “I know I can’t com­pete in Fin­land un­til I’m 18, but there are places to go when I’m 17. It was re­ally in­ter­est­ing to go to Ger­many, that was my first ever asphalt WRC round. I couldn’t drive the stages my­self – I have no li­cence – but my dad drove them and I watched. They were re­ally tricky in places.”

Rovanpera ju­nior toured the service park meet­ing team prin­ci­pals – in­clud­ing M-sport’s Mal­colm Wil­son.

Kalle (mid­dle left) tested new Toy­ota

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