“Here, it’s never the same, he complained after a big slide in 1995. You don’t know if you’re going to fall on a patch of ice or on clean asphalt. And the spectators put snow on the road. You don’t know if where they’re going. Really, it takes a lot of experience.”
Experience then is why world rally champions always tend to be crowned late in their careers. For nearly three decades, 27-year-old Colin McRae has been the sport’s youngest world champion.
Until this 2022 season…
How did he achieve such success?
First of all, you should know that Rovanperä has exceptional pilot experience for his age. The Finn has been driving rally cars since the age of eight on test roads and he even drove regular cars before that!
But what makes the biggest difference between him and the rest is the fact that he participated in R5 and Rallye 2 events from the age of 15.
At the same age, no one has accumulated as much driving time as Rovanperä.
Technology has helped the world champion adapt to changing rally conditions. At the start of the 2018 season, the WRC Promoter changed the sport for the fans, but also for the competitors. All Live is truly an amazing streaming service that brings live footage from all corners of all stages for all rallies around the world.
Fans will see and hear everything. And it changed everything because there were no more secrets.
In 2018, Sébastien Ogier has already pointed to the evolution of his sport. “All Live is good for the fans, said the eight-time champion. But for me, as a driver, I wonder… Now, with all the boards and all the cameras, it’s hard to keep things to yourself. Everyone can see where the drivers are braking, how they are using their notes and what they are doing on the stages, all the time. Newcomers to the sport can watch and analyze every stage.”
Kalle Rovanperä is the youngest WRC champion of all time
Find out how Kalle Rovanperä became the youngest WRC champion in history after Rally New Zealand.
Of course, even today, nothing beats driving on the roads. But the ability to observe the evolution of the route between a passage in the morning and in the afternoon is very important information for competitors. “For sure it helps,” said Rovanperä, leading on his WRC debut in the premier class at the start of the 2020 season. It’s interesting to see how the line changes and to see where the guys cut.
Access to this information redistributes the cards. “When I started in this sport, remembers Dani Sordo, I came to reconnaissance and that’s where I got my information. Today, the drivers are always on board, thanks to video. Rally has changed a lot.”
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