|Northern Forest: Harri Rovanpera - "I want to compete again in Rally Raid".|
A new name has been added to the Entry List for the "Northern Forest Baja" in Russia, one well known to most motorsport fans; Finnish driver Harri Rovanpera, formally known as competitor in the WRC Rally World Series. MR-reporter Robb Pritchard was talking with the Finn one week before the Baja.
MR: You are famous for competing in WRC, why have you turned to rally-raid?
Rovanpera: "Actually this won't be my first time in rally-raids. Two years ago I did three races: One in the US and two in Mexico. And now I want to compete again! On Christmas eve last year the "RE Autoclub Team" from Latvia suggested that I drive for them at a race in Russia, to see what rally-raids are about in Russia and in Europe."
MR: You're often referred to as a gravel specialist. How do you get along with the snow and ice coverage?
Rovanpera: "Well, there's enough snow and ice in Finland too, so for me it's not a problem at all as I know that kind of surface well. But as for the car, we haven't competed in it yet, nor even tested, so I hope that we can have some tests before the race, even though it starts next week. Anyway, it's always interesting to come for the first time on such a unique event!"
MR: What result are you aiming for?
Rovanpera: "Actually, I don't quite know what to expect from the race, especially since the car is new for me. Ok, Ok, let me say straightforward, first of all, I want to complete the race and reach the finish."
"I want everything to go well, the car to run faultlessly, want the driver to... drive too. I don't know Russian rally-raid drivers, but I assume their level is very high. So I will be glad to finish in the top-10. Ok, if we manage to end up in the top-5, I will be really delighted!"
MR: And have you ever been to Russia at all?
Rovanpera: "Twice, but only as a tourist. And now I am very happy to have the opportunity to visit the country as a sportsman. We'll see what we're capable of, and after the race we can think of our plans for the future."
2013/02/11 | 11:43 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PRITCHARD