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

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

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Prime

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Prime

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win.

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Prime

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021