Flying Finn Kalle Rovanperä, who made history by becoming the youngest-ever winner of the ERC Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy on Rally Liepāja this year, proved his pace last weekend by nearly winning on his World Rally Car debut. Rovanperä, aged just 16, made his very first appearance in a Pirelli-backed Ford Fiesta RS WRC at the famous Bettega Memorial Rallysprint at the Bologna Motor Show last weekend.
He was defeated only by WRC2 frontrunner Elfyn Evans, while the young Finn managed to beat Thierry Neuville, this year’s world championship runner-up, in a Hyundai i20 WRC.
After finishing second overall on the event, which unusually requires drivers to use gravel tyres on a largely asphalt surface, Rovanperä said: “It’s a very big honour for me to be on the podium in such an important event with a great history behind it. There was a really good atmosphere and some very nice support for me, which I appreciate so much.”