Concepción/Chile, 12 May 2019 – After some mishaps and setbacks for ŠKODA works crew
Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen (FIN/FIN) in the 2019 FIA World Rally
Championship so far, the Finnish pairing conquered their first season win in the WRC 2 Pro
category after a clever performance at Rally Chile. The well-deserved victory put them into a
good position for the title fight during the second half of the season.
The Rally Chile was for the first time part of the FIA World Rally Championship. Kalle Rovanperä
and Jonne Halttunen, this time driving a private ŠKODA FABIA R5, chose a smart and careful
approach, learning as much as possible on the new and challenging gravel stages of the South
American country. Rain made the tracks muddy and tricky. After three stages the Finns held second
position in the WRC 2 Pro category. “I am losing time against my rivals because I didn’t feel
comfortable in places with limited grip. For the afternoon stages, we will modify the setup of my
ŠKODA FABIA R5,” commented Kalle Rovanperä during the service break. Having said that, he
went into Friday afternoon with a dominant fastest time in the fourth special stage and conquered
the WRC 2 Pro lead, which he would defend right to the finish.
The first special stage of the Saturday leg saw again a fastest time of ŠKODA factory driver Kalle
Rovanperä. Meanwhile his main rival, Citroën driver Mads Østberg, struggled with brake issues.
Rovanperä’s WRC 2 Pro category lead was by then more than half a minute, and the 18 years old
Finn from there on had only one target: “Hopefully I can keep a good gap to my competitor. I am
sure he will push a lot to catch me.” In the end, Kalle Rovanperä managed to defend his lead
thanks to a fast, controlled and faultless drive and conquered his first season win in the WRC 2 Pro
18 years old Marco Bulacia Wilkinson, who was driving a privately entered ŠKODA FABIA R5 but
was registered to score points for ŠKODA Motorsport in the WRC 2 Pro category, finished fourth,
securing his maiden category points.
“Congratulations to Kalle and Jonne! This time they did not only manage to adapt their speed
properly. With a fast and faultless drive, they achieved a well-deserved victory. Thanks also to
Marco Bulacia Wilkinson and co-driver Fabian Cretu, who scored championship points for ŠKODA
in the WRC 2 Pro category as well”, emphasized ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek.
Final Results Rally Chile (WRC 2 Pro)
1. Rovanperä/Halttunen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 3:23:46.3 h
2. Østberg/Eriksen (NOR/NOR), Citroën C3 R5, +23.6 sec.
3. Greensmith/Edmondson (GBR/GBR), Ford Fiesta R5, +3:49.0 min.
4. Bulacia/Cretu (BOL/ARG), ŠKODA FABIA R5, +5:42.3 min.
Current championship standings WRC 2 Pro/Drivers (after six of 14 rounds)
1. Gus Greensmith (GBR), Ford, 73 points
2. Mads Østberg (NOR), Citroën, 68 points
3. Lukasz Pieniazek (POL), Ford, 62 points
4. Kalle Rovanperä (FIN), ŠKODA, 61 points
5. Marco Bulacia (BOL), ŠKODA, 12 points
Current championship standings WRC 2 Pro/Manufacturers (after six of 14 rounds)
1. Ford, 135 points
2. ŠKODA, 73 points
3. Citroën, 68 points
Number of the day: 1
With a fast and faultless drive, Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen (ŠKODA FABIA R5) achieved
their first season win in the WRC 2 Pro category.
The calendar of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2 Pro)
Great Britain 03/10/–06/10/2019