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Kalle Rovanpera's brilliant win at Croatia's WRC

In a thrilling race, the young Toyota driver win Ott Tanak's Hyundai in the final section.
24 abril 2022

Kalle Rovanpera was the one who dominated everything in the Croatia Rally. The Finnish Toyota driver only lost the lead in the penultimate section due to the immense rain that ruined the bills and shuffled the choice of tyres. The leader lost that position to Ott Tanak by just 1.4 seconds, which was the most effective due to Hyundai's accurate weather forecast that made the choice of tyres key to the victory assault. But Kalle Rovanpera wanted to do justice and on the Power Stage showed that he was not going to give up a victory announced since the beginning of the rally. He won 5.7 seconds for Tanak, won the Croatia Rally and scored an additional 5 power stage points. An absolutely brilliant and exciting victory that lasted until the last meters of the race.

Despite the excellent response and effort made by Ott Tanak, the Hyundai rider finished the Croatia Rally in 2nd place 4.3 seconds behind Rovanpera, with his team-mate Thierry Neuville taking third place on the podium 2'21.0 behind the winner, collecting a series of bad luck, up to a strong touch on the Power Stage and a speeding penalty. If it all happened in Neuville, Craig Breen also lost third place to Neuville, finishing in 4th place at 3'07.3 of the winner. Thinking about the championship accounts for the constructors, Elfyn Evans closed the "top 5" with the Toyota Yaris Rally1 at 3'46, followed by Takamoto Katsuta also in Toyota.

Despite choosing the best tyre combination for the final part of the race, Tanak was beaten by Rovanpera's genius, who led the race for 19 of the 20 sections of the Croatian Rally. Among the WRC2 also deserved victory for Yohan Rossel that led the Citroen C3 Rally2 to victory, winning 7th place overall and winning the category with more than a minute's head start to Skoda Fabia chasing Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Emil Lindholm and Nikolay Gryazin who closed the top ten lot, in this third round of WRC 2022.

After the Croatia Rally, and before the Vodafone Rally in Portugal (19-22 May), Kalle Rovanpera commands the championship with 76 points, having triumphed in two of the three races. Thierry Neuville is in second place with 47 points, Craig Breen is 3rd with 30 points, followed by Sébastien Loeb and Ott Tanak, both with 27 points. Among the builders, Toyota commands with 126 points, followed by Hyundai with 84 and M-Sport Ford with 80 points.

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