Four days ago, Finnish rally driver Kalle Rovanperä turned 17 and, with a special permit, he was allowed to take a driving exam to get his license one year early. Why? Well, the clip will speak for itself.
If you find Kalle’s surname a bit familiar, that’s because, like most of us, he shares it with his father. Unlike most of us, his father is a former WRC driver who goes by the name of Harri Rovanperä. Throughout his career, Harri drove for SEAT, Peugeot, Mitsubishi, and Skoda, won only one rally but became known for his skill on loose surfaces.
Kalle Rovanperä hasn’t debuted in WRC yet, but he’s already quite an accomplished rally driver despite not having a driver’s license. He’s been involved in the Latvian Rally Championship where he drove a 300 hp four-wheel-drive Skoda Fabia S200 WRC2 rally car to win the title.
He sounds ready to take on WRC, but there was one little thing standing in his way: the absence of a tiny piece of plastic. Having turned 17 on October 1, the following day he went back home to Finland to take the practical element of his driving test. Needless to say, he aced it.
With Red Bull being Red Bull, it couldn’t let such an opportunity pass without making a film out of it. Yes, it’s fake, but that doesn’t make it any less funny. Because we wouldn’t be at all surprised if that were pretty much what happened in reality as well.
Kalle is now getting ready for his first WRC race. The season has just two more stages left, so all he can get at this point is very precious experience, but having a 17-year-old out there is sure to make the headlines. His first outing will be on October 25 in the Wales Rally GB, followed by a second one in the Kennards Hire Rally Australia between November 16 and 19. He will be driving an M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 in the WRC2 category on both occasions.
“He’s about the same as Jari-Matti [Latvala] was when he first came,” M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson told Motorsport News.
“There’s always something really exciting about seeing these young guys progress. Having him with us for GB and Australia is fantastic news – he’s going to be a real talking point in the last two rounds of this year’s world championship.”