ROVANPERÄ, WINNER OF THE INAUGURAL RALLY MÉXICO, WILL COME OUT OF RETIREMENT FOR RALLY OF NATIONS THIS APRIL
One-time World Rally Championship event winner Harri Rovanperä will make his first rally start in seven years on this year’s Rally of Nations Guanajuato event on April 1-3. Rovanperä, father of current Toyota factory driver Kalle Rovanperä, won the inaugural Rally México in a Peugeot 206 WRC, when it ran as a candidate event for future inclusion into the WRC calendar.
Two decades on from that win Rovanperä will be back in Mexico, taking on the rally in a yet-to-be-specified car while representing Finland in the nations-based format.
His last rally appearance was at Rallylegend in a 206 WRC back in 2014.
Thanks to his car advantage back in 2002 Rovanperä won by almost an hour over Carlos Izquierdo’s Group N Mitsubishi Lancer. He doesn’t expect a repeat in 2022.
“It would be nice if I could win this rally by the same gap I won the first time!” said Rovanperä.
“Of course, in 2002, we were driving in a different car to our rivals – I’m sure the competition will be a lot more close this time.”
Rovanperä also conceded his Mexico return was definitely a one-off, admitting a ride-along with his son in the last generation of WRC cars was not as fun as it had been cracked up to be.
“Kalle did take me for a ride in his Yaris WRC a couple of years ago in Finland. I didn’t want to go. I hate this co-driving business, but Kalle and all of the team are all telling me: ‘You must go!’ They were pushing me into the car. I went and I hated it. This is Kalle’s business now, not mine.”