Finn Kalle Rovanpera (Toyota) celebrated at this year’s WRC Croatia Rally. At the dramatic end of the race, he surpassed Estonian Ott Tanak (Hyundai) by 4.3 seconds in total, reports HRT.
From the very beginning of the Croatia Rally on Friday, Rovanpera led after each stage. But the downpour and more suitable tires that Tanak had turned things around at the very top of the standings.
Tanak took the lead with a 1.4-second better time than Rovanpera. Thus, the dramatic fight moved to the last speed test, from Zagorska Selo to Kumrovec (14.09 km), where 22-year-old Rovanpera, despite not having ideal tires, took maximum risks and passed the entire route for the final victory.
In the end, Rovanpera achieved a 4.3-second better time than the Estonian, who in the end had to settle for second place.
“I can’t believe we were so good on tires like this in this race finish,” Rovanpera said after the win.
“Rovanpera’s name is already part of history because of his first WRC triumph (Estonian Rally). At age of 20, he became the youngest winner in the WRC calendar. Many think that he is one of the greatest talents and predict he will rule this sport in the future. We already knew that he could drive on macadam and snow, and now he has proven himself on the asphalt,” said the Croatia Rally Facebook page announcing the winner.
By the way, Rovanpera is currently leading in the World Cup standings. After three races he has 76 points, while in second is Belgian Thierry Neuville (47 points) who won third place in Croatia.
Fourth, in the end, was Irishman Craig Breen who is third in the overall standings with 30 points.
WRC Croatia Rally (final order after 20 of 20 special stages):
1. Kalle Rovanpera (Finland / Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) 2h48:21.5
2. Ott Tanak (Estonia / Hyundai i20 N Rally1) +4.3
3. Thierry Neuville (Belgium / Hyundai i20 N Rally1) +2:21.0
4. Craig Breen (Ireland / Ford Puma Rally1) +3:07.3
5. Elfyn Evans (GB / Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) +3:46.0
6. Takamoto Katsuta (Japan / Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) +8:08.5
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