Kalle Rovanperä to start despit Italy shakedown crash

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Kalle Rovanperä’s Toyota Yaris will start Rally Italia Sardegna on Friday morning despite the Finn rolling at this afternoon’s shakedown stage.

Rovanperä was two seconds faster than anybody on his opening run at the 3.79km Olmedo test, before coming undone after the flying finish.

The 20-year-old said: “The run was actually good, the feeling in the car was good and, for sure, the time was good also. But then I made the mistake after the finish line.

“Actually it was a bit wrong in my notes and I would need to start to brake a bit earlier than I did. We went a bit wide, but it looks like the car is OK. We had a soft roll but hopefully everything is fine for the rally.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing has subsequently confirmed the Yaris will be repaired overnight and ready for the opening stage.

A team spokesperson said: “The damage was light, it wasn’t so bad – we are confident for tomorrow.”

Rovanperä added: “I’m looking forward to it. The pre-event test was good, we made some changes and I think they worked.”

Like many of his fellow competitors, he believes the opening 12.08km Tempio Pausania speed test will be a big challenge.

“It’s a new stage, quite interesting and it looks like it has been just made. It’s going to be quite soft, so in stage one, the second loop will be I think quite demanding. It’s really tricky stage, quite narrow and slow and it’s going to be quite soft,” he explained.


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