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  • Press Release

ROVANPERÄ AND EVANS TO COMPETE ON ARCTIC RALLY

REIGNING WORLD CHAMPION KALLE ROVANPERÄ WILL MAKE HIS FIRST COMPETITIVE APPEARANCE OF 2024 IN HIS HOMELAND


PHOTOGRAPHY BY RED BULL

WORDS BY ALASDAIR LINDSAY, HEAD OF CONTENT


Kalle Rovanperä will embark on his first rally since announcing his shift to a part-time campaign at the Arctic Lapland Rally next month, where he’ll be joined by Elfyn Evans in a two-car factory effort from Toyota.


Both drivers will compete in Rally1 machinery, using the crown jewel event of the Finnish national championship as a test event for Rally Sweden.


Sweden’s WRC round takes places two weeks after the Rovaniemi-based Arctic Rally.


It’s not the first time Rovanperä has taken on the Arctic Rally in its national guise. In addition to its one-time appearance on the World Rally Championship calendar in 2021 as a Sweden replacement, he won the rally in 2020, when Toyota entered Rovanperä in a WRC car.


Elfyn Evans will enjoy some pre-Sweden running in the Arctic Circle next month


Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala is also getting behind the wheel for the rally, piloting his own ST185-spec Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD with Juho Hänninen in the navigator’s seat.


Rovanperä and Evans are not the only drivers using Arctic Rally as preparation for the second round of the WRC season.


Georg Linnamäe will drive a Toyota Yaris Rally2 for the first time ahead of his WRC2 campaign kicking off in Sweden, as will 2022 Finnish national champion Mikko Heikkilä and reigning WRC3 champion Roope Korhonen, the latter of whom has switched from a Škoda at the first round of the Finnish season. Nikolay Gryazin will also be present in a Citroën C3 R5.


Several contenders in the Junior WRC series are also getting in mileage on snow ahead of its season starting in Sweden: Fabio Schwarz, Diego Domínguez, Roberto Blach and Petr Borodin will all be present.


Jari-Matti Latvala will take his own Celica back out to play in the snow in Rovaniemi


The Arctic Rally takes place the week after Monte Carlo Rally, the opening round of the WRC season, on February 2-3. Its 127-mile itinerary is composed of 12 special stages: five on the first day and seven on the second.


Last year’s edition was an extremely close-run affair: eventual champion Teemu Asunmaa won by 1.5 seconds from Juha Salo, both in Škoda Fabia Rally2 evos.

Asunmaa is also in this year’s entry list, now with a newer-spec Fabia RS Rally2, though Salo is absent.

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