ROVANPERÄ CROWNED YOUNGEST EVER CHAMPION WITH TOYOTA GAZOO RACING*
Kalle Rovanperä has become the youngest ever winner of an FIA World Rally Championship title* at the age of just 22 years and one day, after the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team driver and his co-driver Jonne Halttunen secured their maiden crowns in style with victory at Rally New Zealand. Taking the title in only his third season competing at rallying’s highest level, Rovanperä is more than five years younger than the previous record holder Colin McRae was when he won the championship in 1995.
Sunday brought further wet weather for the final four stages but Rovanperä managed his lead ahead of the rally-ending Power Stage. Only a top-four time there was needed to secure the two extra bonus points he required for the championship, but he nonetheless recorded the fastest time – the seventh occasion he has topped the Power Stage this season.
The outgoing champion Sébastien Ogier completed a one-two finish for the team together with co-driver Benjamin Veillas on their fourth start of the 2022 campaign. Part of a close four-way fight for the lead earlier in the rally, they played an important role for their team-mates by taking points away from their championship rivals.
The one-two finish overall, plus the first and third fastest times from the Power Stage, ensures that the team increases its manufacturers’ championship lead to 81 points with 104 left available. The next Rally de España will be the penultimate round of the season on October 20-23. Based in Salou to the south of Barcelona, the event is known for its smooth and fast asphalt roads that are similar to a racing circuit in their characteristics.
* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA
Please read the details on the team’s official web site: https://toyotagazooracing.com/wrc/