Puuppola, Finland,

Rally Italia Sardegna: Day 4


Rovanperä increases lead with podium for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team driver Kalle Rovanperä has added to his lead in the FIA World Rally Championship with a clever drive to the podium and a Power Stage victory on a tricky Rally Italia Sardegna.

Faced with sweeping loose gravel roads on Friday while running first on the road, Rovanperä ran as low as eighth overall before a characteristically strong drive in the rain to win the 50-kilometre Monte Lerno stage lifted he and co-driver Jonne Halttunen to fourth at the end of the day.

He was then one of only a few drivers to avoid trouble on an eventful Saturday in more wet weather conditions, gaining third overall while also having to manage the limited number of softer compound tyres made available on what is normally a hot and abrasive rally.

Able to conserve rubber through Sunday’s opening tests, Rovanperä then produced a typically attacking drive on a soaking rally-ending Power Stage, setting the best time by 4.7 seconds. Taking the maximum five bonus points to add to his third place overall means he increases his lead in the standings to 25 points.