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WRC stars Rovanpera, Evans to contest Arctic Lapland Rally

World Rally champion Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans will contest the Arctic Lapland Rally next month to aid preparations for the World Rally Championship’s visit to Sweden.

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Toyota Racing

Toyota is set to field a pair of GR Yaris Rally1 cars for the duo for the snow rally, which will host the second round of the Finnish Rally Championship in Rovaniemi, Finland from 2-3 February.

The outing will mark the first rally for Rovanpera since last year’s WRC season finale in Japan, his last event before announcing plans to scale back to a partial WRC campaign this year. Last week it was confirmed that Rovanpera will kick off his 2024 WRC season at Rally Sweden after electing to sit out this weekend’s championship opener in Monte Carlo.

Arctic Rally Finland, which hosted a round of the WRC in 2021, will act as a perfect proving ground to prepare for the high-speed snow-covered roads of Rally Sweden (15-18 February).

Both Rovanpera and Evans tackled the rally back in 2021, which resulted in the former claiming second behind rally winner Ott Tanak, while Evans finished the rally in fifth position.

Confirmation of Rovanpera’s appearance at Arctic Rally Finland is the latest event to feature in the Finn’s 2024 motorsport programme. It is unclear which WRC events Rovanpera will contest this year, although Toyota WRC boss Jari-Matti Latvala has hinted that Latvia is likely to be part of the 23-year-old’s schedule.

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing

“We are still a bit open [with the schedules for part-time drivers Kalle and Sebastien Ogier],” Latvala told Motorsport.com.

“I think what is quite clear is that Latvia is a rally [Kalle might like to do]. In Latvia he has done a lot of rallies when he was young, so this is quite clear that Kalle likes to do that event. It is still possible that both [Seb and Kalle] will be at the some of the events at the same time.”

Latvala is also due to participate in the rally, piloting a classic Toyota Celica alongside co-driver and fellow former WRC driver Juho Hanninen.

The 124-car entry will also include a selection of Toyota’s new GR Yaris Rally2 entries driven by Roope Korhonen, Mikko Heikkila, Georg Linnamae and Toyota’s WRC Challenge graduates Hikaru Kogure and Yuki Yamamoto.

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