Kalle Rovanperä made it through his plowing career with honor in the Finnish World Rally Championship on Friday.
Vesa Pöppönen / All Over Press
Toyota star Kalle Rovanperä, leading the World Series by a crushing margin, arrived for the evening service in Jyväskylä in fourth place.
Say goodbye to the top driver To Ott Tänak has accumulated 21 seconds, but the team mate driving third Elfyn Evans is only 1.7 seconds away.
– Yrkkä was quite lost. Couldn’t have done more. Sometimes there was more risk and sometimes less. At certain points, you knew you could take a risk. Then when I couldn’t, I tried not to take it, Rovanperä talked at the end of the day.
Rovanperä took one risk on Friday’s last special test. The rear of the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 car was a bit on the side of the ditch, and at the same time the map reader Jonne Halttunen the sound rose an octave higher in the cabin. A wide smile appeared on Rovanperä’s face after the incident.
The Finnish fighter coolly acknowledged his situation after arriving at the service area.
– It wasn’t even close. I looked at the ditch with the note, that you can go there, Rovanperä said.
Rovanperä is firmly involved at least in the fight for the prize place, with two days left of the race. The top name in the series suspected that reaching Tänak might be an impossible place, because it is difficult to make big differences on fast gravel roads.
– But of course we always try to the end. Tomorrow we will see if there are opportunities to make differences from a better starting point. However, we are all (top drivers) pretty much in the same places.
Rovanperä’s teammate Esapekka Lappi had a tough fight against Tänak on Friday. Lappi will start Saturday’s special tests in second place, only 3.8 seconds away from Hyundai’s Estonian driver.
At the end of Friday, Lapland achieved three consecutive bottom times.
– A really strong and consistent performance. There were no problems or situations. In the morning, we drove maybe a little slower, but it was a good ride.
– In the afternoon, we increased the ride a bit, but it felt like we were still not at the limits. Good like that. The car plays very well, everything is cool, and the audience is really sick, Lappi said.
On Saturday, the longest day of the race, which includes 150 special test kilometers, will be driven in the Finnish World Rally Championship.