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Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera powers to Estonia WRC win

Published Jul 18, 2022

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Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera powered closer to the world title with his fifth win of the season in the Estonia Rally on Sunday, finishing ahead of his Welsh Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans.

The 21-year-old Finn, who became the youngest rally winner with victory in Estonia last year, consolidated his position as leader in the championship after a dominant performance which saw him win 14 of the 24 stages to finish over a minute ahead of Evans, who won six.

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Evans had dominated early but Rovanpera took control in Friday's final speed test under the rain and pulled ahead of the Welshman on Saturday with seven consecutive fastest times.

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Home hope Ott Tanak was third best for Hyundai, two minutes behind Rovanpera who earned five bonus points for the best time in the last "Power Stage" over wet and muddy roads.

"What a weekend!" wrote Rovanpera on Twitter.

"Big thanks once again to (co-driver) Jonne Halttunen, whole Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC team and everybody who worked to get car this fast!"

Rovanpera now has 175 points after seven rounds, with Belgian Thierry Neuville of Hyundai second on 92 points after finishing fourth on Sunday.

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Evans is third on 79 points, two ahead of Tanak, who shared one stage win SS20 with Rovanpera over the weekend.

The eighth race of 13 this season takes place at home for Rovanpera in Finland from August 4-7, as he closes in on becoming the youngest champion in the series' 50-year history.

AFP

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