Evans: Rovanpera already quick enough for WRC

Teen sensation Kalle Rovanpera is already quick enough to make an impact on the World Rally Championship, according to this year’s British Rally champion Elfyn Evans.Evans beat the young Finn to victory at the recent Memorial Bettega rallysprint event in Italy, but admitted he was impressed with the speed Rovanpera showed on his competitive debut in a World Rally Car.

Kalle Rovanpera

The pair contested the four-race final in their Ford Fiesta RS WRCs, with Evans’ DMACK car edging his rival’s Pirelli-shod machine by three wins to one.

“In fairness, I couldn’t say I was impressed with the final – I was impressed from his first warm-up run, where I think he was fastest,” Evans said.

“I don’t think there’s any secret that he’s done a lot of driving, but still, to get into a World Rally Car at the age of 16 and drive it like he has done, it’s very obvious he’s very talented.

“I don’t know what I was doing aged 15 or 16, probably still dreaming of driving a World Rally Car.”

The son of former factory SEAT, Peugeot, Mitsubishi and Skoda WRC driver Harri Rovanpera is already being courted by WRC team bosses.

Evans feels Rovanpera’s primary problem now will be finding somewhere to compete, given restrictions on driving on the road at his age, having already won this year’s Latvian Rally Championship in a Skoda Fabia R5.

“He’s still too young to compete in most countries and the real challenge he has is getting experience and getting outside of the places he knows best like Finland and Latvia,” said Evans.

“There’s no doubt that he’s ready for the WRC though.

“It’s just incredible how young he still looks – people say I looked young when I started, but he definitely looks younger than me.”