Kalle Rovanpera takes command

It has come out for all. The world champion and winner of last year’s Rally Sweden has taken the lead in the standings after the first special. Kalle Rovanpera already prevailed in the ‘shakedown’ in the morning and continued with his dominance in the Umea Sprint section that opened the race. But he fears that tomorrow it will hurt him to pass through the stages first, and that he will have to clear the loose snow from his pursuers.

With just over 5 kilometres, the initial special was held at night. A section that will be repeated twice during the weekend, and whose final part will also be the one that culminates the test on Sunday. With ice and snow on its surface and benches on the sides, it had the ideal conditions of the Nordic event.

Rovanpera was not very convinced at the end: “In some sections it is quite slippery with loose snow, but otherwise it was quite good. But I didn’t feel like I was driving well.” Even so, no one has managed to overtake him, and in fact he has endorsed his pursuers by many seconds. The only one who has endured his recoil has been Ott Tanak, who was 1.6 seconds behind, with Elfyn Evans third at 3.1. They were followed by the Hyundais of Espapekka Lappi and Thierry Neuville, the Belgian still convalescing from a flu that prevented him from taking the pre-test.

Tomorrow the real action begins with a stage of 7 sections and more than 100 kilometers timed. If there is loose snow on the surface, Rovanpera will pay to open the track. If not, it’s the clear favourite.

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1. Rovanpera-Halttunen (Fin/Toyota), 3m 23.3s

2. Tanak-Jarveoja (Est/Ford), at 1.6

3. Evans-Martin (GB/Toyota), at 3.1

4. Lappi-Ferm (Fin/Hyundai), at 3.9

5. Neuville-Wydaeghe (Bel/Hyundai), at 5.0

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