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Kalle Rovanpera: rallying's Max Verstappen

By Scott Newman, 21 Sep 2016 News

The 15-year-old who is ready for the WRC

Kalle Rovanpera: rallying's Max Verstappen

Forget Max Verstappen, at 18 years old he's already over the hill.

Meet 15-year-old Kalle Rovanpera, who if his current trajectory continues will be driving in the World Rally Championship very soon and winning it shortly after. 

In fact, Rovanpera's age is currently his biggest hurdle; most championships won't allow him to compete. One that will is the Latvian Rally Championship, which Rovanpera is currently leading.

The above video is from the first stage of the weekend's Rally Liepaja. This was a round of the European Rally Championship, which Rovanpera is unable to compete in due to his age, but he traded fastest stage times with the eventual winner Ralfs Sirmacis, including winning the opening stage by 4.4sec.

Rovanpera's efforts earned him the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy, awarded to a competitor who shows exceptional speed or bravery.

Long-time rally fans may recognise the name Rovanpera. Kalle's dad is Harri Rovanpera, who competed in 111 world rallies as a works driver for SEAT, Peugeot, Mitsubishi and Skoda, winning the 2001 Swedish rally and scoring 15 podiums.

His son has clearly inherited his gifts behind the wheel, sliding around frozen lakes in a Toyota Starlet from the age of eight before rapidly progressing to his current Skoda Fabia R5, a class of car one step below World Rally machinery.

Rovanpera Jnr has already caught the eye of several WRC teams and recently conducted a short test in the 2017 Toyota Yaris WRC car under the watchful eye of Tommi Makinen.

Kalle Rovanpera - remember the name.