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Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1with the team
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Interview

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

When it comes to experience, few can rival Mikko Hirvonen in the World Rally Championship’s modern era. A 15-time rally winner and a four-time title runner-up, Hirvonen was a force to be reckoned with in his WRC pomp and regularly pushed Sebastien Loeb to the brink. 

He was one of only two drivers - the other being former mentor and Ford team-mate Marcus Gronholm in 2006 - to come within a couple of points of interrupting Loeb’s run of nine consecutive WRC titles between 2004 and 2012, finishing just a point shy in 2009 after a season when the pair shared 11 wins from 12 rounds.

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