In a statement released by Toyota on Monday, Finland’s Kalle Rovanpera announced that he will take a break from rally racing next season after signing a multi-year agreement with the Japanese manufacturer. Rovanpera, who is just 24 years old, won his second consecutive world championship this year and became the youngest champion in the history of the sport at the age of 22.
Rovanpera cited the demanding physical and mental toll of rally racing as his main reason for taking a year off to recharge and come back stronger. He has been driving rally cars for 15 years and feels that it’s time to step back and take care of himself before continuing to compete at the highest level. 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 next season. 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 is eager to build on his progress and challenge for the championship next year. This news was reported by Alan Baldwin in London and edited by Ken Ferris.