The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title
WRC Special feature

The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title

, News editor

With only cameo roles played by legendary Sebastiens Ogier and Loeb, Kalle Rovanpera ushered in the new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship by becoming its youngest champion. Here's how Toyota's Flying Finn crushed the competition, led by Hyundai's departing star Ott Tanak.

It was somehow appropriate that the rise of a new rallying superpower should coincide with the World Rally Championship celebrating its 50th season and ushering in a new hybrid era. For the best part of two decades, rallying’s top tier had been dominated by two Frenchmen, Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier, the duo’s stranglehold punctuated only once since 2004 when Ott Tanak marched his way to the 2019 title.

With Loeb and reigning champion Ogier taking only part-time cameo roles this year with M-Sport and Toyota respectively, the prospect of a new name on the world championship trophy seemed likely. But few would have predicted Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera to rip up the record books and redefine the WRC winning formula so comprehensively.


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