Double World Rally Champion Kalle Rovanpera has revealed his plans after making a decision to participate in the 2024 World Rally Championship (WRC) on part-time basis.
Recently crowned two-time world rally champion Kalle Rovanpera plans to drive a GT car next year after announcing that he will be racing part-time for the 2024 WRC campaign.
The 23-year-old will have some extra time before 2025 when he resumes full-time rally racing after deciding to run a limited WRC campaign in order to advance his racing skills.
As a fan of motorsports, Rovanpera revealed in a statement last month that he plans to take part in non-rally events in the coming year. The Finn, who enjoys drifting, was spotted racing in drift tournaments in Europe and Japan this year.
However, at a press conference at the FIA’s Prize Gala in Baku, Rovanpera revealed he plans to test a GT car next year.
“I want to use the time and do what I want to do,” he said at the FIA awards ceremony in Baku. “It’s a bit like coming to terms with your youth, with what you did when you were younger.
“Of course, you can’t really make up for it. When you’re a teenager and working, you always have somewhere you need to be and you miss out on a lot of things that other people are doing.
“I want to spend a lot of time next year on my personal things outside of motorsport. There are trips to go on. I want to visit places I want to go.”
Rovanperä continued: “I think everyone expects me to do a full season of drifting – but it just doesn’t make sense. Why would I do that? Why would I take time off and then fill it with something else?
“I’m not so much planning on drifting or rallying. There will be some nice events that I can enjoy and then I want to use some track time as well.
“Circuit racing is interesting for me, I’ve been involved in GT racing for a few years now. I want to give it a go and see how it goes.
“As well as karting, I’ve also done a few practice sessions with Porsche on a race track, but nothing recently.
“I don’t have a full plan yet, but in GT4 Toyota has a Supra. And then there’s the GR010 Hybrid.
“I would definitely like to test it,” admitted Rovanperä. “You can see how well Toyota performs in the WEC. We have to do a simulator test first and it depends on that – you have to be fast enough to drive in the real car.
“Nothing is planned with that, but that’s what I think.”
Earlier this year, Rovanpera was part of a marketing video alongside former Formula 1 drivers Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard, driving a McLaren Senna hypercar on a circuit.
The Toyota driver is not the only rally driver who has recently experimented with circuit racing as his teammate Sebastien Ogier, participated in some rounds of the World Endurance Championship race last year in an LMP2 prototype.
Another driver that raced GT cars was the late 1995 WRC champion Colin McRae. He became widely famous for racing in the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours with Darren Turner and Rickard Rydell in a Ferrari 550-GTS Maranello run by Prodrive.
Rovanpera’s Co-driver Jonne Halttunen also provided more insight into his plans for the coming year, stating that he is determined to transition into race analyst.
“I’m actually quite happy to have a partial season because it is quite consuming to do the full season in WRC,” said Halttunen. “For us it is not only the race, for me every event is two weeks, so I think I will focus on myself and maybe do some commentating.”