No worries about fitness ahead of WRC Rally Spain
The official Toyota rider suffered back pain from a severe impact with a pile of gravel after losing control of his Yaris on Rally Finland Saturday two weeks ago.
Rovanpera made a brief comeback on the Sunday of the event before taking the final Power Stage to help him recover.
The winner of this year’s Estonia and Greece rallies, 21, was declared fit to compete on the Spanish tarmac this weekend and was able to join the Toyota squad for a pre-event test the week last.
However, Rovanpera admits that he still has muscle aches in the car, although it isn’t bad enough for him to be concerned about his fitness.
“I feel good and pretty good, but for sure I’m not 100% good yet because I feel something when I’m sitting in the car with the seat belts on, but it should be fine in rallying and that won’t affect us, I think, “said Rovanpera.
“It should be fair [muscle related], it’s nothing serious because we wouldn’t be driving if there was a risk of breaking something serious.
Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC
Photo by: Toyota Racing
Rovanpera is heading for the quick and swift tarmac of Spain with mixed results from previous asphalt championship events this season.
The Finn crashed into the opening stage in Croatia in April before producing a breathtaking performance to finish third in Belgium, finishing only behind former event winners and Thierry Neuville and Craig Breen.
Looking ahead to this weekend, Rovanpera believes that the success and knowledge gained in Belgium won’t count for much in Spain, which requires a different riding style to master.
“Of course we can take something but it’s a whole different event, nothing is really the same,” he added. “I think the set-up and the riding style are different because we have good corners here.
“Belgium was a lot of short turns, junctions and cuts, here we have long turns. I think the rhythm notes are really tough here and you have to trust them and know where the top is.
“It’s a bit more of a circuit style so I can’t take too much from Belgium so I think it will be a lot of learning for me.”
Rovanpera could prove to be an interesting factor in the title race this weekend as Toyota teammates Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans are set to resume their WRC title fight. Ogier could wrap up his eighth world title if he leads Evans by six points.
Rally Spain starts on Friday with crews ready to take on six stages.