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WRC Rally Estonia

Rovanpera: Perfect WRC Estonia Saturday “came quite easily”

Kalle Rovanpera says his dominant clean sweep of Saturday’s World Rally Championship stages at Rally Estonia “came quite easily”.

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

The reigning world rally champion won all nine of the day’s stages held on Estonia’s fast gravel roads, to open up a 34.9s lead over Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville heading into Sunday.

It is the first time the 22-year-old factory Toyota pilot has achieved the feat of nine consecutive stage wins in his WRC career.

Rovanpera was never really threatened by his rivals throughout the day as he and co-driver Jonne Halttunen breezed through 102.61 of competitive stage kilometres.

“I have not done that [win nine stages in a row] before, for sure,” Rovanpera told Autosport.

“It is not the main point though, the main point is that it came quite easily. I was enjoying the driving a lot we just had our own pace.

Asked what it feels likes when success is coming easily, he replied: “It is relaxing and you don’t need to stress about anything. You can just go with the flow and you know all the stages, you know your pace and you can just enjoy the driving.”

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Rovanpera has openly admitted that Rally Estonia is his favourite on the calendar which has been reflected by the Finn claiming his maiden top flight WRC win in 2021, followed by a triumph last year.

However, while Rovanpera is clearly comfortable in these conditions, Toyota boss Jari-Matti Latvala believes there is more behind his driver’s success.

“It is some time ago definitely [since someone won nine stages in a day],” Latvala told Autosport/Motorsport.com." He has been extremely strong.

“I was out in the stages watching myself and you could clearly see that he was more confident with the grip level than anyone else. He was able to brake later and use more of the road than the others.

“I think it is coming from partly that he is a world champion, and his feeling toward this rally. It is like his home rally. He loves this condition and I think these conditions are easier for him than Rally Finland.”

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