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King Kalle 

2 years ago

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Henry Catchpole | Journalist


24 August 2022

And then he proved he’s human after all. It was just starting to look like he might be some sort of superior alien life form when he ran wide out of a left-hander on Stage 2 of last weekend’s Rally Ypres and rolled his Yaris into a messy ball. Enough of a mess that the windscreen, or the hole where it used to be, was the most obvious exit. But he’ll still win the championship.

With just over two-thirds (or nine-thirteenths, if you like your fractions unusual) of the 2022 WRC season gone, now seems as good a time as any to recap where we are, and how we got that way. And the story of the year so far is Kalle Rovanperä. In case you’re not familiar with the phenomenal Finn, he is the son of WRC driver Harri Rovanperä, he loves dogs and horses, lives in Estonia and has been known to rock a karaoke mic on an evening out. But the thing for which he is best known is being young.

At just 21 he is leading the drivers’ championship by a huge margin of 72 points (it was an almost comical 94-point gulf before his indiscretion in Belgium over the weekend). So it’s just a matter of time before he is crowned the youngest ever World Rally Champion. And the entry in the Guinness good book ought to be written in crayon to emphasise just how young that is in rally terms. Because the person whose record he will vault is none other than Colin McRae, who was a positively grandfatherly 27 when he won his championship laurels in 1995.

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