Rallye Monte-Carlo 2023: Kalle RovanperÄ – “We know that it won’t be easy to defend the championship”


Kalle RovanperÄ became the youngest ever FIA World Rally Championship Champion last year when he clinched the world title Rally New Zealand at the age of 22 years and 1 day which was the most perfect birthday present. Now he is returning to the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT team this season and will defend the title from now on Monte Carlo Rally next weekend.

Rovanperä won two titles in the Latvian Rally Championship during his early career before entering the world scene in 2017. After two seasons in the support category, he was named in 2019 WRC2 Pro Champion at the age of 19 and was promoted to the Toyota factory team in 2020.

In 2021, Rovanperä set another record by becoming the youngest driver ever to win a WRC event in the WRC Rally Estonia and got another win Acropolis Rally Greece the same year. In 2022, he claimed a hat-trick of wins on all three surfaces, starting with a win on snow Rally Swedena victory on the asphalt in Rally Croatiaand a win on gravel Rally de Portugal. He also picked up three other wins this season, including the famous one Safari Rally Kenyaa total of six wins leading to becoming the 2022 champion.

Photo credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

He has yet to be on the podium at the Monte-Carlo Rally, having only finished fourth twice in 2021 and last year, but this season he is hoping to clinch victory and set another record in the French Alps.

“I have a good feeling before the start of the new season. We know it won’t be easy to defend the championship. We have seen that the level of competition is getting higher and higher, so we also have to try to improve our game and keep pushing hard. The team is again doing a great job trying to maximize performance and make the car faster and stronger.” said Rovanpera.

The Monte Carlo Rally is a special event and usually makes for a somewhat difficult and nervous start to the season. But I go into the rally with more confidence than last year when everything was so new with the car; Now I know we have everything going in the right direction and should have an easier start. It’s never easy to have a clean rally there, but that will be our plan to start the season off right.”



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