Rally Estonia: Day 4
Rovanperä and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing rule rapid Estonian roads again
Kalle Rovanperä has stormed to a dominant Rally Estonia victory for the third year in a row with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team, extending his lead in the FIA World Rally Championship.
Guided by co-driver Jonne Halttunen, Rovanperä once again looked at home aboard his GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID on some of the fastest roads in the WRC. He held a narrow lead at the end of Friday despite having to run first on the loose gravel stages, and was quite literally unbeatable thereafter as he pulled clear of the competition.
He recorded a remarkable run of 13 consecutive stage wins from Saturday morning until the rally-ending Power Stage on Sunday afternoon – becoming the first driver to have such a streak of fastest times on a WRC round since Sébastien Loeb in Germany 15 years ago.
Quickest in the finale by two seconds, he secured his second win of the season by 52.7s overall and claimed the maximum 30 points to increase his standings lead to 55 points. The victory is his 10th in the WRC in the two years since he became its youngest-ever winner on Rally Estonia 2021.
Elfyn Evans remains second in the drivers’ standings after he and co-driver Scott Martin were second-fastest in the Power Stage and finished fourth overall following a thrilling fight for the final place on the podium with Esapekka Lappi (Hyundai) – finishing just 7.3s away. Takamoto Katsuta and co-driver Aaron Johnston finished seventh overall, only 0.3 seconds away from a place in the top six. TGR-WRT has increased its manufacturers’ championship lead to 57 points.