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WRC Rally Italy

WRC champion Rovanpera set for circuit racing debut

World rally champion Kalle Rovanpera will make his circuit racing debut at this weekend’s DTM meeting at Zandvoort, where he will race in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux support series.

Kalle Rovanperä, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

The two-time world champion is expanding his motorsport horizons this year following a decision to conduct a part-time WRC campaign with Toyota.

Rovanpera announced plans in February to contest four of the six Carrera Cup Benelux rounds with the first outing arriving at Zandvoort – the home of the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old will drive a 911 GT3 Cup car prepared by Red Ant Racing, managed by veteran Le Mans 24 Hours racer Marc Goosens.

Rovanpera has completed two days of testing at the Dutch venue which followed a test at Zolder in Belgium earlier this year.

“Two days of testing done here at Zandvoort,” Rovanpera wrote on social media.

“It was challenging and a lot of new things to learn but that’s what I came here for.

“Pace was pretty good compared to guys who we will be fighting with this weekend. It’s not going to be easy but I’m looking forward for it to see how it goes.”

 

Rovanpera’s first taste of circuit racing arrives after contesting three of the six 2024 WRC rounds to date, that included a dominant victory at Safari Rally Kenya in March. It is unclear when the Finn will return to the WRC later this season.

Toyota has announced its driver line-up for the next round in Poland from 27-30 June, which will see the Japanese brand field three GR Yaris Rally1s for full-time drivers Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta. The third car will be driven by Croatia and Portugal winner Sebastien Ogier, who has scored two wins and two second-place finishes from his four appearances.

However, rounds in Latvia and Finland in July and August are thought to be most likely to feature on Rovanpera’s rally schedule.

Rally Poland will feature nine Rally1 entries with Hyundai fielding Thierry Neuville, Ott Tanak and Andreas Mikkelsen, while M-Sport will field an expanded three-car line-up as Martins Sesks joins regulars Adrien Fourmaux and Gregoire Munster.

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