Toyota Gazoo Racing’s home favourite Kalle Rovanpera had a great end to Arctic Rally Finland in Lapland on Sunday as the 20 year old not only finished the event in second place but the Finn also took the lead in the championship and speaking following the action he said:
I’m really pleased with the second place. It was quite a difficult weekend, I was pushing really hard and we couldn’t always be on the optimal pace, but we were fighting back all the time. In the Power Stage I gave everything that I had and it was enough, so we got really good points from here. It’s really nice to be in this position now, leading the championship for the first time. It’s going to be a new situation for me going to the next event, and we just have to keep up the pace and be consistent like we have been here.
Elfyn Evans ended the event in fifth place just behind Hyundai Motorsports Craig Breen and speaking following the event he commented saying:
“I had a good start to the final day. The grip was higher than I expected but after the first few corners we seemed to find a better rhythm and it was a good time. But then it was not the best run for us in the Power Stage. It felt OK but the time was quite a bit off where we would have liked to be. It has not been the best event for us to be honest, I’m quite disappointed with the overall result. There were some flashes of good speed but nowhere near consistent enough to challenge for the top positions.”
Sebastien Ogier endured a disappointing rally coming home in 20th place having hit a snow bank and speaking following the action he commented saying:
Overall it’s been a tough weekend. We tried everything we can but we knew coming here as leaders of the championship it would be a tough rally. Still we fought hard but this small mistake yesterday in the final stage of the day was obviously very costly too and took us out of the fight. With our starting position we had not so much hope for the Power Stage. I couldn’t do more, I was on the limit and there was still too much snow, but it was good to score one point at least.
Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Principal Jari Matti Latvala commented on the event saying:
Kalle has produced a very very good performance on this rally, managing to maintain second position on the final day and also winning the Power Stage, scoring good points for the team and for himself. Elfyn tried hard to gain fourth but it wasn’t to be. We are still leading both championships so we can be satisfied, but of course we wanted more. This was a home rally for the team and we were hoping to be able to win here. We seemed to be struggling a little bit with the setup so the drivers were not completely happy with the car all of the time. We were fast on some of the stages but then there were some stages where we were not so competitive and we need to analyse why.