Finn Kalle Rovanperä made world rally history today by taking first place and becoming the youngest driver in history to win a race in this high-performance class. He is barely 20 years old.
The triumph was in Estonia and at the wheel of a Toyota Yaris. Although in recent months he was close to a victory, a not-so-good performance of the favorites pushed him to set this all-time record. Thus he surpassed the mark of the also Finnish Jari-Matti Latvala, who won the rally of Sweden in 2008 at the age of 22.
Rovanperä, meanwhile, achieved a total time of 2: 51: 29.1, and in a show of mettle and all the potential it has, it was able to win calmly.
“It has been a difficult season and it is very nice to get my first win here in Estonia. This is almost a home rally for me and many Estonian fans have supported me. Our results have not been very good, but we have shown that the pace is there and today we have brought it home. Being the youngest winner is incredible. It could have happened before, but now that's it, "he said as he got out of the car.
The young man is the son of Harri Rovanperä, a former rally driver - he took part in races in the early 2000s - who had just one triumph in Sweden aboard a Peugeot. That is to say that, with this triumph, the son has already reached the father sportingly, without taking into account that he is emerging as one of the favorites for the future.
His debut in the World Rally was at the age of 17 in Rally Great Britain, and on the Estonian date, he was 59.9 seconds ahead of second, Craig Breen.
In third place was Thierry Neuville and his Hyundai, who suffered a 10-second penalty for being late for a check, which prevented him from being second and almost losing third place, which he finally managed to retain.
The big favorite for the Estonian date was Ott Tänak, world champion in 2019 and winner of this same date a year ago. However, several incidents delayed him, including multiple punctures that forced him to leave the competition on Friday and lose chances for the final.
Championship leader Sébastien Ogier didn't fare very well either as he had to settle for fourth place.
Final classification Rally Estonia 2021:
K. Rovanperä J. Halttunen Toyota Yaris WRC 2: 51: 29.1
C. Breen P. Nagle Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +59.9
T. Neuville M. Wydaeghe Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1: 12.4
S. Ogier J. Ingrassia Toyota Yaris WRC +1: 24.0
E. Evans S. Martin Toyota Yaris WRC +2: 07.1
T. Suninen M. Markkula Ford Fiesta WRC +7: 07.3
PL Loubet F. Haut-Labourdette Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +8: 48.3
A. Lukyanuk Y. Fedorov koda Fabia Evo +10: 16.1
A. Mikkelsen O. Fløene koda Fabia Evo +10: 29.9
M. Østberg T. Eriksen Citroën C3 R5 +10: 46.6