Finnish driver Kalle Rovanpera and Finnish co-driver Jonne Halttunen compete in the WRC Rally of Portugal
Matosinhos (Portugal) (AFP) - Finland’s Kalle Rovanpera, in a Toyota, moved atop the drivers’ standings Sunday after romping to victory in the Rally of Portugal.
Rovanpera won the FIA World Rally Championship’s fifth round in dominant fashion, having led the event from Friday.
It was the Finn’s second consecutive triumph at the Matosinhos-based event and his ninth career victory.
Dani Sordo was second ahead of his Hyundai team-mate Esapekka Lappi, who rounded out the podium.
“It has been too long coming, but finally we are back,” said Rovanpera, whose last victory came in the Rally of New Zealand last year.
“I have to say a big thank you to Jonne (Halttunen, co-driver) and the team. They have been pushing all the time and going forward.”
Eight-time world champion Sebastian Ogier, a Toyota teammate of Rovanpera, was an absentee from the Rally of Portugal as he manages his partial programme.
Ogier, however, will be back for the next stop on the WRC calendar, the June 1-4 Rally Italia Sardegna on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.