2022-02-27 16:21Pressmeddelande

Rovanperä mastered winter surfaces best and won Rally Sweden

Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen won Rally Sweden. Foto: McKlein/Rally Sweden. Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen won Rally Sweden. Foto: McKlein/Rally Sweden.

Kalle Rovanperä did exactly as his father Harri did 21 years ago.
The Finn repeated his father's feat and won Rally Sweden 2022 for Thierry Neuville and Esa-Pekka Lappi.

Rovanperä was only four months old when his father triumphed at the WRC's only pure winter fixture in 2001 in a Peugeot 206 World Rally Car.
Now it was the son's turn.

"It was nice to win; it was a nice rally with many excellent distances where it sometimes went almost too fast. I had a good feeling all weekend and made a few mistakes. But on the whole, it was an incredible winter rally with fantastic conditions and plenty of snow. So the move to Umeå was just in time", said the winner.

Thierry Neuville, who opened the best on Friday and had the lead before Saturday with 4.3 seconds before Rovanperä, lost 21.7 seconds. But the Hyundai driver still summed up the weekend's effort as more than approved, especially since the Monte-Carlo start was not particularly successful for the team when Oliver Solberg was forced to break due to exhaust problems in the passenger compartment.

"I was a little surprised that we led after the first day, especially when we were a little unsure after the performance in Monte Carlo. I did the job, had a good feeling on Friday, and the car was perfect. But the remaining two days, I did not get that top feeling", said the Belgian.

The 21-year-old Rovanperä took home six stages during the weekend and mastered the winter surface best of all. Neville's margin of victory was 22 seconds in the end, and the Toyota driver got paid more and more the longer the race lasted. Before the closing day four final stages, Rovanperä was chased by teammate Elfyn Evans.

But the Englishman, who was eight seconds behind on Saturday, received a penalty after missing the finish line on Umeå SS 15, and on Sunday, he drove up the snowbank and was forced to break.

It opened up for Rovanperä, who did not take any risks and guarded the last three stages into the finish. He thus became the eleventh Finnish driver to win the Swedish rally.

Toyota Gzoo Racing also won the brand world championship after taking home three of the first four places where Rovanperä's Finnish compatriot Esa-Pekka Lappi answered for the trust from the Toyota team by taking a podium place as third.

The 32-year-old from Pieksämäki dreamed of the podium, and the dreams came true.-Lappi, who made a comeback in the driver's seat after a year of absence, was pleased.

"It is fantastic to be able to come back in this way and be there directly from the first leg and maintain it throughout the weekend", said Lappi.

Here´s the results from WRC. 

Om Rally Sweden

Rally Sweden är en av 13 deltävlingar i WRC, världsmästerskapen i rally, och det enda utpräglade vinterrallyt. Det är Sveriges största årligen återkommande evenemang med över 100 000 åskådare under fyra dagar och närmare 120 miljoner tv-tittare runt hela världen! Tävlingarna avgörs för första gången i år i Umeå i Västerbotten. Tävlingen har körts sedan 1950 och varit vinterrally sedan 1965. Rally Sweden är känt som en vinterfestival, där publiken kommer förare, bilar och tävlingarna riktigt nära – Closer to Rally.


VD Svenska Rallyt AB
Anna Nordkvist
Communication Rally Sweden
Niklas Westman