The reigning world champion is expected to compete in at least six rallies this year for Toyota, beginning with Sweden next week, a rally he won in 2022 on the way to his maiden world title.
Rovanpera jumped back behind the wheel of the Toyota GR Yaris last weekend to prepare for Sweden’s snow stages by participating in the Arctic Lapland Rally in Finland.
The Finn set a blistering pace to lead the rally by almost a minute from Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans before a technical issue on the last stage prevented him from taking the victory, which was claimed by Evans.
However, after a first rally outing since November’s Rally Japan, Rovanpera says he is all set to challenge for victory in Sweden where he will have the advantage of starting lower in the road order.
“Yes, I’m ready,” said Rovanpera, when asked about his Rally Sweden prospects.
“The expectations for Sweden are quite good. It is nice to be going back to a WRC event now after a small break for us.
“Hopefully the starting place will be good and we can enjoy the rally. Of course, we will try and fight for the victory to bring the points home for the team.”
Kalle Rovanperä, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
Photo by: Toyota Racing
Rovanpera revealed that the Arctic Lapland Rally has helped define the set-up required for Sweden’s snow-covered roads.
“We got the car and the set-up more clear, so I think the testing was important and hopefully we can have a much better feeling before Sweden,” he added.
“There is only one event per year on snow so we need to nail the set-up in only a few tests and we don’t have so much experience on the snow with the car, so we need to be sure the car is fast when we go to Sweden.
“We always try to find the fastest car. In Sweden, you need to push all the time as it is a fast rally so you need to save the tyres on the second pass usually, so you need to compromise and have a fast and comfortable car to drive.”