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Saturday, December 10, 2022

From driving a rally car at the age of eight to becoming the youngest world champion in history

From driving a rally car at the age of eight to becoming the youngest world champion in history

Kalle Rowanpera celebrates her victory in New Zealand. He is the youngest champion in world rally history (Toyota Gazoo Racing)

Finland is one of rally’s mecca because its pilots suck at the boys’ specialty. Along with his Swedish and Norwegian neighbours, also experts in the field, he acquired the sensibility to drive from an early age, as he was trained in snow. After two decades, a Finn becomes king again World Rally Championship (WRC) and it’s about calle rowanpera, Youngest person in history to achieve it with only 22 yearsCompleted this Saturday, for his coronation which was at the New Zealand rally.

Rovanpera sitting at the table with the other world champion Finns, ari watanen (1981), Hannu Mikkola (1983), Timo Salone (1985), Juha Kankkuneno (1986, 1987, 1991 and 1993), Tommy McKinnon (1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999) and Marcus Gronholm (2002). His coronation was not another one as he returned glory to a “holy land” in the drifting world. Although they also had world champions on the track like Keke Rosberg (1982), Mika Hkkinen (1998 and 1999) and Kimi Raikkonen (2007), who celebrated in formula 1,

Beyond the tradition of motorsports and rallying in particular in his country, Kalle inherited his father’s passion, harry rowanpera, who competed in the WRC between 1993 and 2006 and was an official driver for SEAT, Peugeot and Mitsubishi. He has only one win (Sweden 2001) and has raced several times in Argentina: his best result was a third-fourth place in Córdoba in 2003. But in addition, Harry formed his own rally team and when little Kalle asked for a track, he was initially with him in karting.

Calle En Brazos De Su Padre Harry Rowanpera (@Kallerovanpera)
Calle en brazos de su padre harry rowanpera (@kallerovanpera)

In 2010, a video of him went viral in which he is seen. Driving a rally car at the age of eight, To get a good look, he put a cushion on the chair. The pictures are shocking as you can see how the boy subdued a vehicle at high speed on snow and with normal skids. He suffered a miss, but the speed of driving did not cease to amaze. At that time many wondered if he would be the star of the future?

The answer came over the years and, although the little boy was born with a gift, his potential and talents were exposed, his father’s company was important, something that happened in between. Max Verstappen and his father If, former F1 driver. Harry’s advice, preparing his karts and then his first rally cars.

“I don’t remember much. Was very young. The truth is I don’t know how he had that connection to the car. When I was a kid From the age of three, he drove all kinds of vehiclesATVs, motorcycles, but I didn’t get behind the wheel of a car until I was seven. I don’t know why it was so easy for me, I just did, After driving a rally car for the first time, I have never touched other vehicles again,” he recalled in recorded statements. sports world,

Kale Rovanpera driving a rally car at the age of eight in Finland

His desire led him to make his debut at the age of 14, but he had to do so in Latvia, where a driver’s license is not required to run in rallies. Between steps, his car was being driven by a navigator risto pietilainen, who was his father’s co-driver (WRC). On 18 October 2015, Kale won the Latvian Rally Championship in the R2 category with his Citron C2R2 Max, which has just turned 15 years old.

,There was no point in hanging on. Either you go to the top or you dedicate yourself to something else”, he maintained in an article published by the site red Bull In his first race in Latvia. “It was hard to convince people that I could compete, that I was good enough. My father had to apply for permits in Latvia and Estonia. It was not difficult for me to participate in rallies at such a young age because I I had toured a lot in cars before. I don’t know what people thought of me at first, but then they saw that I more or less defended myself.”

In June 2017, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (TRAFICOM) granted him special permission to apply for a driving license at the age of 17. The normal age requirement in your country is 18 years. On Monday, October 2, a day after his 17th birthday, Rowanpera passed the mandatory driving test after already completing the theory part. With a driving record he was able to reach the WRC.

The spectacular accident of Calle Rovanpera in the Argentine rally. he fell on a private car and then a tent

He made his world championship debut with the team’s Ford Fiesta R5. m-sportsis associated with the brand of oval for decades. In Great Britain, in the traditional Wales rally, he finished 15th in the WRC 2, second division and 35th in the general classification. “I felt a little pressure, a lot of things depended on my driver’s licence, especially my participation in the Wales rally,” he said. On the next date played in Australia, he struck in his category and won.

“They often tell me that I demand too much of myself, but I don’t understand why I can’t be so critical of myself. A bad outcome is never a good one. All I want is good results.” “, he insisted, the diamond in the rough was captured by Skoda, In which he was included in their drivers program and the following year he finished third in his category with two victories in Great Britain and Spain. That year he was winning in Córdoba, although he had a terrible accident in which he overturned and one of the bumps was in the air and fell on private car and tent, Miraculously, the crew survived safely and there were no casualties among the public.

In 2019 he won the title in WRC2, but in the production segment, and for 2020 they hired him Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR), the official team of the Japanese brand and one of the strongest in the senior category. Their best result was third place in Sweden, having cut seven dates in the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rovanpera And Toyota Yaris Wrc (Toyota Gazoo Racing)
Rovanpera and Toyota Yaris WRC (Toyota Gazoo Racing)

In 2021 he achieved his first win in the main WRC category and celebrated in Estonia at the age of 20. He repeated in Greece and finished fourth in the championship. But in the Japanese team, he had the right environment to tap into his potential and achieve glory. He was surrounded by a group of remarkable people who gave him all their experience who, along with Rovanpera’s brilliance and freshness, were the perfect combination to win the title. that was the key to success, Calle receives advice from his compatriot, mentor Tommy McKinnon and team manager, Jari-matti Latwala (Former driver and WRC winner). In addition, his teammate was French. Sebastian Ogierwho could not capture his ninth crown.

Rovanpera was anointed this year with six wins out of eleven disputed races and was crowned two dates before the end of the season. In New Zealand they defeated Ogier and the Estonians. there, tanaki (Hyundai) slipped to third place to repeat its 2019 title.

Rovanpera is the youngest champion in WRC history with a fresh 22 years and beat the mark of the remembered Colin McRae, who won in 1995 with 27 years and 89 days., “The biggest feeling right now is that it’s a huge relief. We had such a great season, then some tough rallies and now we were finally able to do it”, he said after the celebration in testimonials aired by TGR.

Celebrating With His Navigator, Joan Hultunen (Toyota Gazoo Racing) At The Finish Line
Celebrating with his navigator, Joan Hultunen (Toyota Gazoo Racing) at the finish line

“I want to thank the team that built such a fast and reliable car for this season, which meant we could enjoy driving. Plus, they always believed in us and supported us in the most difficult moments ”, he highlighted.

“I don’t think about age much, but it’s still special to know that we can overcome it. It means a lot, being a champion is the only goal we’ve achieved in this sport. In fact, I was a little more nervous on Friday than today: so we needed to work harder to stay in the fight, but we were able to enjoy it.”

While Latvala was full of praise: “What Kalle did is really important. Firstly it is unbelievable that a 22 year old player broke all records and won the title of champion. At the same time, it is very important for Finland because 20 years have passed and that is a very long time. I am so grateful that Kalle did this, he is a superhero,

It can be said that in Finland boys are born with a steering wheel in their hands and from a very young age they drive anything. Juha Kankuneno At the age of just 7 he drove a tractor in his father’s field. today calle rowanpera He answered that question to people who had seen him drive as a child. He is the current champion and on his way to be the top star of the future in the World Rally Championship.

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