Harri Rovanperä

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Harri Rovanperä
Harri Rovanperä - 2005 Cyprus Rally 5.jpg
Rovanperä in 2005.
Personal information
Nationality Finland Finnish
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1993 – 2006
Teams SEAT, Peugeot, Mitsubishi, Škoda
Rallies 111
Championships 0
Rally wins 1
Podiums 15
Stage wins 77
Total points 171
First rally 1993 1000 Lakes Rally
First win 2001 Swedish Rally
Last rally 2006 Wales Rally GB
Rovanperä at the 2004 Cyprus Rally.
Rovanperä at the 2005 Cyprus Rally.

Harri "Rovis" Rovanperä (Jyväskylä, 1966) is a Finnish rally driver who competed in the World Rally Championship from 1993 to 2006. He drove for SEAT (199700), Peugeot (200104), Mitsubishi (2005) and Red Bull Škoda Team (2006). Rovanperä was known as a gravel specialist.

Career[edit]

Rovanperä won the small Group A Finnish Rally Championship title in 1995 at the wheel of an Opel Astra. After a few outings on his national World Rally Championship event Rally Finland, he was hired by SEAT to drive the SEAT Ibiza Kit Car, with which he won SEAT's third consecutive 2L World Rally Championship title in 1998. Next year in 1999, he took part in the top class World Rally Championship with the SEAT Córdoba WRC E2 finishing in the third place in the last event of the season at the 55th Network Q Rally of Great Britain. In 2001, he was hired by Peugeot. Driving a Peugeot 206 WRC, he took his first WRC win at the Swedish Rally.[1] The same year he finished fifth in the overall championship only eight points behind the winner, Richard Burns, despite missing two rallies.

On December 9, 2001 Rovanperä also competed at the Race of Champions at Gran Canaria, and by winning the individual event and taking home the Henri Toivonen Memorial Trophy, he earned the title of Champion of Champions, he beat in the final stage the German driver Armin Schwarz.

2002[edit]

The 2002 season began as usual with the Monte Carlo Rally, and Rovanpera competed in a privateer Bozian-Racing run Peugeot 206 WRC. He retired on the 7th stage with broken steering after an off; Tommi Mäkinen won the race in front of a penalized Sébastien Loeb, while Carlos Sainz finished third. The second rally was in Sweden, where Harri returned in the official factory-entered Peugeot 206 WRC, and he finished the rally in second place, 1'24" behind team mate Marcus Grönholm, despite winning two stages and leading the rally from Stages 3 to 14.

The next two rallies were Tour de Corse and Rally de Cataluñya, both on tarmac, where Harri competed for the Bozian-run team; on both rallies he failed to score, finishing only 11th (Corsica) and a solid 7th place (Cataluñya), on a surface he traditionally struggled.

The next rally took place on the island of Cyprus, where heavy rain made conditions treacherous. In this event, as in all the successive gravel events, Harri drove the official Peugeot works car; he finished 4th winning 1 stage. The rally was won again by his team mate Grönholm. The WRC circus moved then to Argentina, where Peugeot had a dismal rally, Harri retired after engine problems on S.S.10, Gronhölm and Burns took first and second, but were both disqualified a few days later due to an illegal flywheel and illegal servicing respectively; so Sainz won the rally from Petter Solberg. In Greece, on a very hot and rough surface, Harri managed a 4th place, winning 1 S.S., the rally winner was Colin McRae.

The "World's toughest Rally", the Safari Rally, gifted Harri with a second place, 2'50" behind the winner Colin McRae, in a rally that forced many of the drivers to retire.

In Finland Harri had maybe his strongest rally of the season, in fact, he even took the lead in the 12th stage, but on the next stage he crashed and a front suspension part was badly damaged, forcing him to retire; however, the rally was won by teammate Gronholm for the third year running.

In Germany (newcomer race in the WRC) Harri drove an official car, as regular tarmac expert Gilles Panizzi was withdrawn from the event due to a shoulder injury sustained while carrying out DIY at his home. However, Rovanpera was forced to retire after a very difficult rally, which saw the first victory of Sébastien Loeb in a Citroën Xsara.

In Sanremo, Harri returned to the Bozian team, but on asphalt the Finnish driver struggled and finished ninth, whilst Gilles Panizzi took a stunning win after the injury just three weeks before.

The championship returned to the gravel for the final rush, in New Zealand Harri drove a faultless race despite a hydraulic problem, finishing second, 3'50" as teammate Marcus Grönholm clinched his second world drivers championship.

The championship continued in the southern hemisphere with Rally Australia, and Rovanpera finished in second place again behind his team mate Grönholm, but this time only 57" behind, and winning 8 stages of the rally.

The season came to an end in the forests of Wales, where Harri finished 7th and out of the points after a race full of mistakes. So the season ended with Harri finishing 7th overall with 30 points, 47 behind teammate Gronholm, but only 7 behind runner-up Petter Solberg.

Next Seasons[edit]

Rovanperä 1st place in Carrera Panamericana 2010

In 2003 and 2004, he drove for Peugeot in gravel rallies, obtaining 3 podium places (Cyprus 2003 (2nd), Acropolis 2004 (3rd) and Australia 2004 (2nd)). In 2005, Rovanperä switched to Mitsubishi's factory team and competed a full WRC programme, finishing seventh in the drivers' world championship with only final podium in Australia, where was second behind Duval. After Mitsubishi suddenly left the series before the 2006 season, Rovanperä signed on to drive Škoda Fabia WRC for Red Bull Škoda Team in six events without any significant result.

In 2007, Rovanperä was a regular competitor of the SRC Finnish Rallycross Championship with a rear-wheel driven Ford Focus as well as a Volvo S40, but finished only 11th overall. He had many technical problems with both cars.

In October 2010 Rovanperä and his co-driver Jouni Närhi got the first overall in La Carrera Panamericana in a Studebaker 1953 just 12.9 seconds ahead from the Mexican driver Michel Jourdain, Jr.

WRC victories[edit]

 #  Event Season Co-driver Car
1 Sweden 50th International Swedish Rally 2001 Risto Pietiläinen Peugeot 206 WRC

Career results[edit]

WRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1993 Harri Rovanperä Opel Manta MON SWE POR KEN FRA GRE ARG NZL FIN
Ret
AUS ITA ESP GBR NC 0
1994 Harri Rovanperä Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 MON POR KEN FRA GRE ARG NZL FIN
12
ITA GBR NC 0
1996 Promoracing Finland Ford Escort RS Cosworth SWE KEN IDN GRE ARG FIN
Ret
AUS ITA ESP NC 0
1997 Seat Sport Seat Ibiza GTi 16V MON
14
SWE KEN POR
Ret
ESP
Ret
FRA ARG
8
GRE NZL
Ret
FIN
10
IDN
7
ITA
10
AUS
10
GBR
9
NC 0
1998 Seat Sport Seat Ibiza GTi 16V Evo2 MON
11
SWE
Ret
KEN
5
POR
Ret
ESP
Ret
FRA ARG
Ret
GRE
15
NZL
13
15th 3
Seat Cordoba WRC FIN
11
ITA
Ret
AUS
11
GBR
6
1999 Seat Sport Seat Cordoba WRC MON
7
SWE
16
KEN
6
POR
Ret
ESP
14
FRA
13
ARG
Ret
GRE
Ret
NZL
Ret
9th 10
Seat Cordoba WRC Evo2 FIN
5
CHN
5
ITA
16
AUS
6
GBR
3
2000 Seat Sport Seat Cordoba WRC Evo2 MON SWE
12
KEN 9th 7
Seat Cordoba WRC Evo3 GBR
10
Harri Rovanperä Toyota Corolla WRC POR
4
ESP ARG GRE NZL FIN
3
CYP FRA ITA AUS
2001 Peugeot Total Peugeot 206 WRC MON SWE
1
POR
Ret
ESP ARG
Ret
CYP
Ret
GRE
3
KEN
2
FIN
4
NZL
3
AUS
4
GBR
2
5th 36
H.F. Grifone SRL ITA
11
FRA
7
2002 Bozian Racing Peugeot 206 WRC MON
Ret
FRA
11
ESP
7
ITA
9
7th 30
Peugeot Total SWE
2
CYP
4
ARG
Ret
GRE
4
KEN
2
FIN
Ret
GER
Ret
NZL
2
AUS
2
GBR
7
2003 Marlboro Peugeot Total Peugeot 206 WRC MON SWE
Ret
TUR
Ret
NZL
Ret
ARG
4
GRE
6
CYP
2
GER FIN
Ret
AUS
7
ITA FRA ESP GBR
Ret
11th 18
2004 Marlboro Peugeot Total Peugeot 307 WRC MON SWE MEX
10
NZL
5
CYP
DSQ
GRE
3
TUR
Ret
ARG
5
FIN
Ret
GER JPN
6
GBR
6
ITA
Ret
FRA ESP AUS
2
8th 28
2005 Mitsubishi Motors Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 MON
7
SWE
4
MEX
5
NZL
Ret
ITA
Ret
CYP
7
TUR
10
GRE
6
ARG
5
FIN
7
GER
10
GBR
4
JPN
5
FRA
10
ESP
10
AUS
2
7th 39
2006 Red Bull Škoda Škoda Fabia WRC MON SWE MEX ESP FRA
12
ARG ITA
20
GRE
12
GER FIN JPN CYP
Ret
TUR
11
AUS NZL GBR
9
NC 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rovanpera hits big time in Sweden". BBC. 2001-02-11. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tommi Mäkinen
Race of Champions
Champion of Champions

2001
Succeeded by
Marcus Grönholm