Kalle Rovanperä reveals a stunning detail behind his victory

This weekend, Kalle Rovanperä accomplished a feat that should, in principle, have been impossible.
Kalle Rovanperä
Kalle Rovanperä. Photo by: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool
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Today, stars of the World Rally Championship prepare for events by watching hours of videos of the special stages in advance. The preparation also includes pre-rally tests to fine-tune the car’s settings.

Rovanperä missed all these routine preparations before the Rally Poland. The Toyota star only found out on Tuesday that he needed to be in Mikolajki the following morning to start reconnaissance for the fast gravel rally. Toyota had to call in Rovanperä and his co-driver Jonne Halttunen to replace Sébastien Ogier, who was injured in an accident during reconnaissance.

On Wednesday, the Finnish duo completed nearly the entire rally reconnaissance in 14 hours. Usually, the recce is done over two full days.

From these unusual starting conditions, Rovanperä entered the competition, which he ultimately won – and by a clear margin. The Finnish star will have plenty of stories to tell from the weekend.

Rovanperä encountered one particularly surprising moment on the Thursday morning shakedown before the actual race started.

“For the shakedown, I was given a car and told, ‘drive that.’ I had to go with it, but we managed quite well,” Rovanperä chuckled.

“This was quite a maximum performance. We had no testing or anything else beforehand. On top of that, we had a hectic recce, so it was quite an unusual situation.”

Rovanperä did an impeccable job for Toyota. He collected 27 points from the rally, helping Toyota close the gap to Hyundai in the manufacturers’ championship.

See the current standings in the World Rally Championship here.

Rovanperä admitted that even he did not expect such an excellent result from a race for which he had done no preparation.

“You always have to believe in yourself. I just wanted to have a clean weekend and do good work for the team. Otherwise, we would just be wasting everyone’s time,” Rovanperä said.

“There was also some pressure, of course. I haven’t driven well enough. I’ve lost a couple of wins, but they have always been possible, so in that sense, I’ve had confidence.”

This win was Rovanperä’s second of the season. He also won the Safari Rally Kenya, while in Sweden and Portugal, he crashed out while leading the rally.

Rovanperä will be behind the wheel for Toyota in the next round in Latvia, which takes place in mid-July.

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