Rovanperä’s co-driver shares incredible story behind the feat

Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä drove to a magnificent victory at Rally Poland on Sunday.
Jonne Halttunen
Jonne Halttunen. Photo by: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
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However, it was by no means an easy task. Rovanperä was summoned to the race venue in the middle of jet ski tuning. The Finnish star travelled from Jyväskylä Finland to Tallinn, where his co-driver Jonne Halttunen joined him on a private plane.

Rovanperä had to start the fast gravel rally without any preparation, but the same applied to his co-driver Halttunen. The task was also massive for the note master.

“It’s a bit of a strange feeling after the race. This Sunday was the first so-called normal day this week. I even managed to get some sleep in between, as there weren’t many kilometres left on Sunday, Halttunen sighed to

“At the beginning of the race and during the recce, I was quite stressed. Now, I feel more relieved.”

As late as Tuesday evening, Halttunen was at a tattoo studio in Tallinn. The departure to Poland was quite quick.

“I have a big project going on, with my entire leg being tattooed. It takes 13 eight-hour days. I’ve already had a three-day session and was supposed to have the second session now. But then Jari-Matti (Latvala) called, asking if it was possible in any way. I just replied that I’m not even in Finland, Halttunen explained.

“I said that all my stuff is in Jyväskylä, but Jari-Matti said that Kalle is there. I called my mum to see if she could pack my things. I instructed her via video call on what to pack. Kalle then picked up the stuff from the porch.”

The tattoo had to be left unfinished.

“The thing ended rather peculiarly, as the tattoo artist asked how much time I had. I said two hours. Then Jari-Matti informed me that I had 29 minutes to be at the airport. So, I had to move. When the plane landed, the engines didn’t even have time to shut down. Straight to Poland and into the road books,” Halttunen laughed.

The visit to Poland interrupted the co-driver’s summer holiday. Next, preparations will begin for Rally Latvia, which takes place in just over two weeks.

“Now the work continues as usual. We’ll start preparing for Latvia, then there’s testing and the race after that. There’s not much time for anything else but rallying,” Halttunen summed up.

In Latvia, WRC points will be contested from 18th to 21st July.

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