The snow-based occasion is a brand new addition to the WRC calendar and replaces Rally Sweden, which was cancelled in December because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rovanpera, whose father Harri took his solely WRC win on the Swedish snow 20 years in the past this month, has earlier expertise of the occasion having received the Arctic Lapland Rally final season. He shone on his solely earlier WRC outing on snow, pipping Ogier to complete third on final 12 months’s Rally Sweden.
Victory this weekend for the 20-year-old Finn would break a document held by his Toyota staff principal Jari-Matti Latvala that has stood since 2008, when Latvala prevailed on Rally Sweden aged 22 years and 313 days.
Three-time Sweden winner Ogier advised Motorsport.com that Rovanpera, who begins fourth on the street, is “positively on the favourites’ listing for this occasion”.
“For him, it’s not really a brand new occasion – he was there final 12 months with the Yaris – and he’s all the time quick on snow as we noticed final season [in Sweden],” he stated. “He could be younger in age however he’s positively not younger on expertise on the subject of this floor.
“And I feel being final [of the WRC cars] on the street, a man like [Hyundai third driver] Craig [Breen] – relying on the circumstances – may have a card to play on this occasion.”
Though no contemporary snow is forecast for the Rovaniemi-based rally this week, Ogier has the unenviable job of opening the street on the primary day – one thing the seven-time champion admits goes to harm his 100% successful begin to the season. Nonetheless, the 37-year-old says preparations for the latest addition to the WRC schedule have gone nicely as groups proceed to acclimatise to the brand new Pirelli tyres.
“We had two good days of testing; one in Jyvaskyla and one within the Rovaniemi space, so it was a very good probability to do lots of mileage with the tyres,” he stated. “We have now seen lots of variations between these tyres and those we had earlier than. These kilometres in testing are essential to attempt to study these variations and I feel the snow tyres from Pirelli is an effective product.
“Clearly we’re going up north the place we’re certain to search out lots of snow so, on this case, it might be higher to have slim tyres and longer studs however laws enable just one kind of tyre and we have now to take care of that.
“As a frontrunner, I hope there may be not going to be an excessive amount of snow on the street in any other case my life goes to be troublesome.”