Back to the Auto Racing Newsfeed

Rallying at 8, champ at 22, Rovanperä is WRC's next prodigy

The motorsport world is full of ridiculously young defending world champions. Max Verstappen defending a second title at 25 years old, though, is basically ancient compared to Kalle Rovanperä, the reigning World Rally champion.

At just 22 years old, Rovanperä is in his fourth full season at the highest level of rallying. That in no way tells the full story, considering he made his first entry to a top-grade stage in 2017, debuting on the brutally unforgiving courses of the Great Britain Rally the moment he'd passed the test to receive his driving license.

Even that doesn't quite go far enough back, seeing as he made his professional rally debut aged 14, when he was too young to actually drive the car on the roads between stages.