The Toyota driver understeered in a quick southpaw and ran into a ditch, which sent the GR Yaris into a series of horrific rolls that ended up on the wheel.
The car suffered significant damage from a loss accident, but luckily both Rovanpera and co-driver Jonne Halttunen climbed out of the wreckage unscathed. The pair exited the vehicle from the front and the windshield was removed in the impact.
Rovanpera held the lead after 2.5 seconds ahead of Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans on the opening stage of the day. But slippery conditions.
However, entering the second stage, Rovanpera was forced to wait on the start line of the stage due to unspecified delays. Television cameras captured some of the sounds coming from the car as the crew in Car 69 appeared agitated by the delay.
Rovanpera completed 9.2 km of the 19.6 km test before the accident happened. It’s unclear if the car can be repaired to allow the pair to get back into rallying tomorrow, but the GR Yaris appears to have suffered significant damage.
The 21-year-old Finn has a 94-point lead over Hyundai’s Ott Tanak in an accident that ends a string of remarkable results.
Up until this point, Rovanpera has completed the points for each game, taking five victories in the process. His worst result was fifth in Sardinia in June. The last time Rovanpera withdrew from the WRC was in Finland last October.
Rovanpera’s loss in the Ypres, Belgium Rally gave Toyota teammate Evans the lead, who was 1.2 seconds ahead of Tanak.
Today, the crew will complete 8 races stage and midpoint service after stage 4.
Kalle Rovanpera, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
Photo by McKlein / Motorsport Images