Rovanpera wins FIA World Rally Championship

   May 17,2023

Kalle Rovanperä secures his position as the new frontrunner in the FIA World Rally Championship! With a remarkable back-to-back victory at the Vodafone Rally de Portugal, he now claims his seventh triumph in the WRC.


Toyota's reigning world champion led Hyundai's Dani Sordo and Esapekka Lappi home after a strong effort with co-driver Jonne Halttunen.

Rovanperä, who had not topped the WRC podium since his title-winning sprint to victory on Rally New Zealand last season, currently leads Ott Tänak by 17 points after five events.

When Tänak suffered wheel damage on Friday afternoon, Finn Rovanperä took charge of the rally, gaining a slim 10.7s lead by the end of the first leg.

The Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid driver went unstoppable, winning five stages and extending his lead to 57.5 seconds before cruising through our-stage final leg 54.7 seconds ahead of second-placed Dani Sordo.

Esapekka Lappi finished second in his second rally with two Hyundai20 N Rally1 Hybrids among the top three. His performance kept Hyundai inside 32 points of championship leader Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT.

Thierry Neuville started the day in third place, but a blown turbocharger left his Hyundai significantly underpowered. As he struggled through the final stages, Ott Tänak of M-Sport Ford Puma took fourth overall, while the Belgian was forced to settle for fifth.

Gus Greensmith won the FIA WRC2 championship by barely 1.2 seconds over Koda Fabia RS Rally2 competitor and Toksport teammate Oliver Solberg. The latter had led by 35.4 seconds overnight before incurring a one-minute time penalty.

Andreas Mikkelsen (Toksport koda), Yohan Rossel (PH Sport Citroen C3 Rally2), and Teemu Suninen (Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai i20 N Rally2) rounded out the top ten, who were also competing in WRC2.

Marco Bulacia finished 11th overall in the FIA WRC2 Challenger category, Roope Korhonen won the FIA WRC3 category, and Alexander Villaneuva won the FIA WRC Masters category.

As the world championship moves to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia for the 20th Rally Italia Sardegna in Olbia from June 1-4, WRC crews will confront more scorching weather and demanding stages.

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