Kalle Rovanperä: “The hardest part was not falling asleep during the connections”

Called at the last minute to replace Sébastien Ogier, Kalle Rovanperä splashed his talent on Rally Poland to bag an impressive (and exhausting!) second victory in 2024.

Published on 01/07/2024 à 12:15

Loïc ROCCI

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Kalle Rovanperä: “The hardest part was not falling asleep during the connections”

© Nikos Katikis / DPPI

Given the circumstances in which it was acquired, what does this success represent for you?

I wasn't expecting as much, but every time I put the helmet on my head, it's to try to get a good result. For the moment, this victory is no different from the others. It just seems to be the result of very hard work, but as it ultimately is all the time. I'll probably realize later what that means. There, now, I'm so tired... I'm just very happy to be in front of you.

During the course of the rally, what did you find really complicated?

Lack of sleep. During the previous weekend, I didn't sleep much. With friends, we watched ice hockey for part of the night before I took the plane to Poland, and on Wednesday morning, we had to get up very early for the reconnaissance. My sleep schedule was really bad.

In terms of sensations in the Yaris, what was complicated?

The hardest part was not falling asleep during the connections. (Laughs) As far as driving is concerned, the first passages were a challenge. We had to attack while keeping a margin to protect ourselves from places where we could encounter surprises. You had to judge where to take risks and where to be defensive.

Did you really think, before the rally, that you had no chance?

No, I knew it was possible. It's always like that. You just have to believe in yourself. What I knew for sure was that it would be difficult, but we had to try…and it worked.

Is it true that you have to drive in Italy [Monday] behind the wheel of a Porsche Carrera Cup?

(Laughs) Yes, at 8 a.m.! The night will be short again!

Do you plan to reproduce the same type of organization in another event?

I've done late night preparations before, but never like this. Finally, having time to do reconnaissance isn't bad, because at least you can sleep a little. (Laughs)

Comments collected by L. Rocci

Loïc ROCCI

Journalist specializing in rallying past, present and future... and with a southern accent

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