Toyota young gun completes WRC Acropolis Rally win

Kalle Rovanpera (right) and co-driver Jonne Halttunen celebrate victory in the Acropolis Rally Greece

Record-breaking youngster Kalle Rovanpera has soared to a second World Rally Championship event win courtesy of a supreme performance in Greece.

Just two months after becoming the youngest winner in WRC history, Rovanpera completed a dominant weekend at the Acropolis Rally.

The 20-year-old Finn ultimately finished 42.1s ahead of Ott Tanak, having led by just 3.7s at the end of Friday running before stretching his advantage.

“I’m feeling really good to win here in Greece,” said Rovanpera.

“It was a really tough rally to be honest, a long week with a lot of stages to recce and long nights watching the videos, so I feel really happy to be at the finish with this result.

“I felt good on Friday already, and then we did some set-up changes to the car because the stages on Saturday were different, and I felt even better with the car.

“It came quite nicely, I could enjoy the driving a lot. A big thank you to the team, everybody did a great job and the car was running without issues.

“Hopefully we can take the same speed to Finland.”

Added Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala: “This was a weekend where we didn’t expect to win.

“I was really happy to see the performance from the start from all of our drivers.

“Kalle especially showed amazing speed and it was great to see how calm and mature he was the whole weekend.”

Rounding out the podium was Sebastien Ogier, who is in the box seat for an eighth title having extended his lead atop the standings to 44 points.

Fellow Toyota driver Elfyn Evans is his nearest rival, recovering from an early mechanical issue to place sixth.

Also on the comeback trail was Thierry Neuville (eighth), whose Hyundai team boss Andrea Adamo lamented a “frustrating weekend”.

“Sadly, we have had from time to time a recurrence of the same problems which upsets me,” he said.

Dani Sordo, Gus Greensmith, Evans, Adrien Fourmaux, Neuville, Andreas Mikkelsen and Marco Bulacia finished fourth through 10th.

Next up is Rally Finland on October 1-3.

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