Toyota GAZOO Racing’s new singing Kalle Rovanperä admits “it’ll take a few rallies to really adapt to the car” as he prepares to make his debut at the sports highest level.
After a fine season last year where he took the WRC2 PRO championship in storming fashion, Rovanperä was signed by the Tommi Mäkinen led outfit over the winter and the young Finn says Monte-Carlo is a great place to start his Toyota career.
He said ahead of next weekend’s opening round of the season: “Rallye Monte-Carlo will be a special event for me. It’s a big step up from an R5 car, with a lot more power and downforce, but so far I’ve found the Yaris WRC to be quite easy to drive in the tests. Still, I have a lot to learn and I think it will take a few rallies to really adapt to the car and how everything works.”
“I will need to think differently at the beginning of the season, and I hope that I will have the patience for this. I think Monte-Carlo is not the easiest place to start with a new car and a new team. The weather is changing all the time and you cannot always have the right tyre choice for the conditions. It will be a big challenge for us, but hopefully we can make it through.”
Rovanperä has been in recent seasons competing in the main support series to the WRC aboard a Skoda Fabia R5 and despite taking the class title by the end of the season, 12 months ago he only managed a second-place finish behind winner and another WRC graduate this year Gus Greensmith.
2020 Rallye Monte-Carlo takes place next weekend.