Kalle Rovanpera, a double world rally champion from Finland, has announced that he will be taking a break from driving next season after reaching a multi-year agreement with Toyota. Rovanpera became the youngest world rally champion at the age of 22 and won a second successive crown this season. He expressed in a Toyota statement on Monday that he will only be driving some of the events next year and the main reason is that he has been driving rally cars for 15 years. He stated that the previous seasons have been demanding both mentally and physically and he felt it is a good moment to take a year off to recharge and come back to fight for the championship once more.
During his break, Rovanpera plans to explore other forms of motorsport, including drifting. Sebastien Ogier, an eight-time world champion from France, will also continue part-time with Toyota. The full-time drivers for 2024 will be Welshman Elfyn Evans and Japan’s Takamoto Katsuta. Evans has been a runner-up three times in the last four years and he stated that he is keen to build on his progress and be even better in the next season. This news was reported by Alan Baldwin in London, edited by Ken Ferris.