Finland’s Kale Rovanpera, a two-time world rally champion, has announced that he will be taking a break from racing next season after reaching a multi-year deal with Toyota. The youngest world rally champion at the age of 22, Rovanpera won his second consecutive crown this year. In a statement on Monday, he said that he had been driving rally cars for 15 years and that the previous seasons had been mentally and physically demanding. He felt it was time to take a year to recharge and return to the fight for the championship title.
During his break, Rovanpera plans to explore other forms of motorsports, including drifting. Meanwhile, Sebastien Ogier, an eight-time world champion from France, will continue part-time with Toyota. The permanent drivers for 2024 will be Welshman Elphin Evans and Japanese Takamoto Katsuta. Evans has been runner-up three times in the last four years and is determined to build on his progress and be even better next season. This news was reported by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ken Ferris.