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WRC champion Rovanpera reveals Le Mans ambition

World rally champion Kalle Rovanpera has revealed a desire to one day race at Le Mans and test Toyota’s World Endurance Championship Hypercar.

Kalle Rovanpera, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

The two-time WRC champion made his circuit racing debut last weekend finishing an impressive fourth and fifth in a pair of Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux races at Zandvoort.

Rovanpera is this year expanding his motorsport horizons after making a decision to participate in a part-time WRC programme with Toyota ahead of a full-time return in 2025.

Speaking after his outing at Zandvoort, the 23-year-old Finn admitted that 24 hours races at Le Mans and the Nurburgring are on his wish list, alongside a test in Toyota’s GR010 Hybrid WEC Hypercar.

“I have always wanted to race on the circuit, and I have a few dreams, particularly 24-hour races like Le Mans or Nurburgring, but let’s first see how the races in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux go,” Rovanpera was quoted on Finnish rally website Rallit.fi. 

“I would really like to test it [the Toyota GR010]. You can see how well Toyota is doing in the WEC. We have to do a simulator test first and it depends on that: you have to be fast enough to drive the real car.”

Rovanpera isn’t the first Toyota WRC driver to have a desire to race at Le Mans. Eight-time world champion Sebastien Ogier, who largely shares the third GR Yaris Rally1 with Rovanpera this year, made his Le Mans 24 Hours debut in 2022, driving a Richard Mille Racing LMP2 prototype to ninth in class.

Ogier also tested Toyota’s WEC Hypercar in the WEC’s 2021 Bahrain rookie test in addition to two further outings in 2022.

Sebastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing

Sebastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Following Rovanpera’s comments, Autosport asked Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe director Rob Leupen at this week’s Le Mans 24 Hours about the prospect of the Finn securing a run in the WEC’s team’s simulator and a possible hypercar test.

While Leupen was unaware of Rovanpera’s desires or any discussions to test the WRC champion, he said: "We did it with Seb Ogier. Let’s see what happens. It would be a nice thing to do — he’d have a good benchmark with Seb.”

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