Rovanperä will defend last year's victory at the snowy Swedish Rally

Rovanperä will defend last year's victory at the snowy Swedish Rally

Rovanperä will defend his victory in the snowy Švédské rally last year

Illustration photo – The Finnish crew of Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen with the Toyota Yaris WRC car.

Umea (Sweden) – Reigning world champion Kalle Rovanperä will defend last year's victory at the upcoming Rally Sweden. At the start of the second race of the series, the fastest man of January's Monte Carlo Rally, Sébastien Ogier, will be absent, so the Toyota factory driver has a chance to move to the top of the World Championship standings. But Ogier can also be overtaken by Elfyn Evans, Thierry Neuville or Ott Tänak, who also managed to win in Sweden in the past.

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“The season started great in Monte Carlo, we had a good feeling and got good points for the championship. We hope to continue in Sweden in the same way and to enjoy the rally. We did well here last year and we will try to repeat the result,” said Rovanperä, who finished second in the Principality of Monaco. “We only have one such rally every year and it's always great to have studded tires on the car. Driving between snow barriers is something special,” noted the twenty-two-year-old driver.

In 2020, Evans was the fastest in northern Europe, who is looking forward to the rally just like his Finnish teammate. “Even with the snow and ice, it's still one of the fastest rallies on the calendar, especially because the center moved a little further north last year. I think the erstes are even faster. We also have new sections this year,” said Evans.

The drivers of the Hyundai team, especially Neuville, who has already won four medal positions in Sweden, will try to break the dominance of Toyota from Monte Carlo. He won in 2018, last year he was second, 22 seconds behind Rovanpera. “We showed last year that we can be competitive on snow and ice, so we hope to be fast again this time in Sweden,” wished Neuville.

One representative of Czech motorsport will also be at the start, nineteen-year-old Filip Kohn will make his first start in the WC. With the Ford Fiesta Rally3 car, he will compete with other drivers from the JWRC category.

“It will be interesting for us to compare ourselves with other young drivers who have signed up for the JWRC. However, the main priority will be to gather as much experience as possible,” said Kohn, who did not officially enter the sub-championship. “But that doesn't mean we're just going for a ride. We want to show ourselves in a good light and bring home a nice result,” added the pilot of the Duck racing team in a press release. the city of Umea, where the center of the competition is. In the next three days, 17 special stages await the crews.

Provisional standings of the WC (after 1 of 13 races): 1. Ogier (Fr./Toyota Yaris) 26, 2. Rovanperä (Fin./Toyota Yaris) 23, 3. Neuville (Belg./Hyundai i20) 17, 4. Evans (Brit./Toyota Yaris) 15, 5. Tänak (Est./Ford Puma) 14, 6. Kacuta (Jap ./Toyota Yaris) 8.

Order of the teams: 1. Toyota Gazoo 51, 2nd Hyundai 27, 3rd M-Sport Ford 16.

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