Kalle Rovanperä responded sharply to a big question

Toyota's Kalle Rovanperä's push in the Rally de Portugal on Saturday morning was short-lived.
Kalle Rovanperä
Kalle Rovanperä. Photo by: Pentti-Oskari Ilmonen
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Rovanperä set a fastest time on the first stage of the day, but crashed on the following special stage. The Toyota ended up against a tree in a fast section on a right-hand corner.

“We had only driven a few kilometres from the start when we went off. It was a bit of an annoying off. Went wide on the brakes. There’s no particular reason for it,” Rovanperä said.

“There was a bit of confusion with the pacenotes in the previous section when Jonne (co-driver Halttunen) read the note wrong. I probably thought about it for a moment on the straight. At that speed, you shouldn’t think about anything other than driving.”

Rovanperä, however, emphasised that the crash was not due to a pacenote error.

“It wasn’t a pacenote error in the crash, nor was it the cause, but it’s enough at that speed when you think about the previous place for a moment. I missed the braking point and went off.”

The crash was Rovanperä’s second in three events. In Sweden, the GR Yaris Rally1 slipped into a snowbank.

“A bit of a stupid mistake on my part. It’s always disappointing. It was a big disappointment,” Rovanperä summed up.

Could the lack of driving routine be affecting it?

“I can’t say, but I doubt it affected these offs,” Rovanperä replied.

And your focus is still at the same level as when you drove the whole season?

“I would say my focus is at the same level.”

Rovanperä’s race is likely to continue tomorrow. There are still a lot of points available on Sunday, which would be important for the team. However, the Finnish star’s starting position will worsen significantly.

“Of course, the focus is on tomorrow now, but it’s a bit different again as we’re starting as the leading car. It’s not very easy to do anything tomorrow, but we’ll try our best. It would be good to bring some points for the team,” Rovanperä said.

“Both Jonne and I are fine. It didn’t feel bad for us. The car also seems to be fine. We’ll see when the mechanics check it, but it didn’t seem bad.”

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