Harri Rovanpera "unsure how heart is working" after son's WRC win

A nervous but emotional Harri Rovanpera is unsure how his “heart is still working” after watching his son Kalle Rovanpera become the youngest ever winner in World Rally Championship history.

Harri Rovanpera "unsure how heart is working" after son's WRC win

Rovanpera Sr, a former factory SEAT, Peugeot and Mitsubishi WRC driver, was stage-side to witness his 20-year-old son Kalle score a record breaking win at Rally Estonia in style.

A WRC winner himself in 2001, Rovanpera was in tears at the finish having overseen Kalle’s rise up the rally pyramid to become a genuine challenger in rallying’s top tier.

Kalle Rovanpera joined the WRC’s top-flight last year with Toyota after winning the 2019 WRC2 title as an 18-year-old.

“It has been an incredible weekend. I can’t keep talking because I will cry all the time,” said Harri Rovanpera following Kalle’s triumph.

“It is wonderful after four bad events, but that [win] came at the right time. All the time you have to stop [on events] that is very disappointing, But now everything is changing I hope by the end of the season.

“I don’t know how my heart is still working, it was very hard [to watch],” he added when asked what it was like watching Kalle’s progress from the sidelines.

In contrast to his father, Kalle was far from a bundle of nerves and instead delivered a calm drive on Sunday, after initially hitting the front on Friday, before establishing a commanding lead on Saturday.

The victory was set up by a remarkable drive on Saturday’s opening stage that has been described as the one of the performances of the season, after the Finn was 10s faster than his nearest rival on stage Ott Tanak.

Reflecting on the achievement, Kalle admitted it was special to claim the youngest-ever winner record from now Toyota WRC boss Jari-Matti Latvala, whose record stood since winning in Sweden for Ford in 2008, aged 22.

“The feeling was nice in the car and I didn’t feel much pressure, it was quite calm in the car, it was enjoyable,” said Kalle Rovanpera.

“For sure when we finished it was a really big relief and you finally get the win and you feel the pressure releasing a bit, so for sure that is a nice feeling.

“It is something special but it is not something I think about much, all these records. But of course it was nice when Jari-Matti came to say to me that he wanted me to be the guy that is taking his record from him, so for sure that means something to me.

Asked if he shed any tears he replied, “I don’t think so, I think dad [Harri] was doing that part quite well.”

Read Also:

Toyota team principal Latvala believed Rovanpera’s first win was due this year and is happy to concede his WRC record to his young gun recruit.

“Looking at the performance of Kalle already at the end of 2020 you could feel that it was coming,” said Latvala.

“I said at the start of this season there would be two events where Kalle had a high chance of taking the victory at Arctic Rally Finland and Rally Estonia.

“After four quite demanding rallies for Kalle I think his motivation was 120 per cent and the passion to get your first victory you could see, he was very committed from shakedown onwards.

“I’m really pleased to see his victory and I was really happy he was breaking my record as we can keep the Finnish tradition of youngest ever winners in the WRC.”

shares
comments

Related video

Neuville handed suspended event ban, fine for WRC Estonia speeding
Previous article

Neuville handed suspended event ban, fine for WRC Estonia speeding

Next article

How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Prime

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Prime

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Motorsport.com went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021