It is with style, by winning her sixth rally of the season in New Zealand with her co-driver Jonne Halttunen, that Kalle Rovanperä made WRC history. The Toyota driver indeed becomes, at 22 years and 1 day, the youngest world champion in the discipline, who until now was the Scot Colin McRae, titled in 1995 at the age of 27 and died in a helicopter crash in 2007.
“A big thank you to the team, who have really built a rocket this year, a car that is both fast and reliable.commented the young champion on the finish line of Rally New Zealand, after matching his triumph with a victory in the Power Stage. Even after the recent complicated rallies we’ve had lately (in Belgium and Greece), they have always been behind us and have never stopped believing in us. »
Son of Harri, a professional driver in the early 2000s and winner of the 2001 Swedish Rally at the wheel of a Peugeot 206 WRC, Kalle Rovanperä joined the WRC category in 2020, in the colors of Toyota. He was on the podium in his second appearance in the elite, in Sweden, before becoming the youngest winner of a world round on the occasion of the Rally of Estonia 2021, at 20 years 9 months and 17 days.
Winner of Rally New Zealand ahead of eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier, who is not taking part in all the events this year, and Hyundai driver Ott Tänak, his runner-up in the general classification, Kalle Rovanperä is titled while two rounds remain to be contested, in Catalonia (October 20-23) then in Japan (November 10-13). The last world title of a Finnish driver dates back to the coronation of Marcus Grönholm, in 2002, with Peugeot.