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HARRI "ROVIS" ROVANPERä ( Jyväskylä
Jyväskylä
, 1966) is a Finnish rally driver who competed in the World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship
from 1993 to 2006 . He drove for SEAT
SEAT
(1997 –00 ), Peugeot
Peugeot
(2001 –04 ), Mitsubishi (2005 ) and Red Bull
Red Bull
Škoda Team (2006). Rovanperä was known as a loose surface specialist.

CONTENTS

* 1 Career * 2 2002 * 3 Next seasons * 4 WRC victories

* 5 Career results

* 5.1 WRC results

* 6 References * 7 External links

CAREER

Rovanperä won the small Group A
Group A
Finnish Rally Championship
Finnish Rally Championship
title in 1995 at the wheel of an Opel Astra . After a few outings on his national World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship
event Rally Finland
Finland
, he was hired by SEAT
SEAT
to drive the SEAT
SEAT
Ibiza Kit Car , with which he won SEAT's third consecutive 2L World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship
title in 1998. Next year in 1999, he took part in the top class World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship
with the SEAT
SEAT
Córdoba WRC E2 finishing in the third place in the last event of the season at the 55th Network Q Rally of Great Britain . In 2001 , he was hired by Peugeot
Peugeot
. Driving a Peugeot
Peugeot
206 WRC , he took his first WRC win at the Swedish Rally
Swedish Rally
. The same year he finished fifth in the overall championship only eight points behind the winner, Richard Burns
Richard Burns
, despite missing two rallies.

On December 9, 2001 Rovanperä also competed at the Race of Champions at Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
, and by winning the individual event and taking home the Henri Toivonen
Henri Toivonen
Memorial Trophy, he earned the title of Champion of Champions, he beat in the final stage the German driver Armin Schwarz .

2002

The 2002 season began as usual with the Monte Carlo Rally
Monte Carlo Rally
, and Rovanpera competed in a privateer Bozian-Racing run Peugeot
Peugeot
206 WRC. He retired on the 7th stage with broken steering after an off; Tommi Mäkinen won the race in front of a penalized Sébastien Loeb
Sébastien Loeb
, while Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz
finished third. The second rally was in Sweden, where Harri returned in the official factory-entered Peugeot
Peugeot
206 WRC, and he finished the rally in second place, 1'24" behind team mate Marcus Grönholm , despite winning two stages and leading the rally from Stages 3 to 14.

The next two rallies were Tour de Corse and Rally de Cataluñya, both on tarmac, where Harri competed for the Bozian-run team; on both rallies he failed to score, finishing only 11th (Corsica) and a solid 7th place (Cataluñya), on a surface he traditionally struggled.

The next rally took place on the island of Cyprus, where heavy rain made conditions treacherous. In this event, as in all the successive gravel events, Harri drove the official Peugeot
Peugeot
works car; he finished 4th winning 1 stage. The rally was won again by his team mate Grönholm. The WRC circus moved then to Argentina, where Peugeot
Peugeot
had a dismal rally, Harri retired after engine problems on S.S.10, Gronhölm and Burns took first and second, but were both disqualified a few days later due to an illegal flywheel and illegal servicing respectively; so Sainz won the rally from Petter Solberg
Petter Solberg
. In Greece, on a very hot and rough surface, Harri managed a 4th place, winning 1 S.S., the rally winner was Colin McRae
Colin McRae
.

The "World's toughest Rally", the Safari Rally, gifted Harri with a second place, 2'50" behind the winner Colin McRae, in a rally that forced many of the drivers to retire.

In Finland
Finland
Harri had maybe his strongest rally of the season, in fact, he even took the lead in the 12th stage, but on the next stage he crashed and a front suspension part was badly damaged, forcing him to retire; however, the rally was won by teammate Gronholm for the third year running.

In Germany (newcomer race in the WRC) Harri drove an official car, as regular tarmac expert Gilles Panizzi
Gilles Panizzi
was withdrawn from the event due to a shoulder injury sustained while carrying out DIY at his home. However, Rovanpera was forced to retire after a very difficult rally, which saw the first victory of Sébastien Loeb
Sébastien Loeb
in a Citroën Xsara.

In Sanremo, Harri returned to the Bozian team, but on asphalt the Finnish driver struggled and finished ninth, whilst Gilles Panizzi took a stunning win after the injury just three weeks before.

The championship returned to the gravel for the final rush, in New Zealand Harri drove a faultless race despite a hydraulic problem, finishing second, 3'50" as teammate Marcus Grönholm clinched his second world drivers championship.

The championship continued in the southern hemisphere with Rally Australia, and Rovanpera finished in second place again behind his team mate Grönholm, but this time only 57" behind, and winning 8 stages of the rally.

The season came to an end in the forests of Wales, where Harri finished 7th and out of the points after a race full of mistakes. So the season ended with Harri finishing 7th overall with 30 points, 47 behind teammate Gronholm, but only 7 behind runner-up Petter Solberg.

NEXT SEASONS

Rovanperä 1st place in Carrera Panamericana
Carrera Panamericana
2010

In 2003 and 2004, he drove for Peugeot
Peugeot
in gravel rallies, obtaining 3 podium places (Cyprus 2003 (2nd), Acropolis 2004 (3rd) and Australia 2004 (2nd)). In 2005, Rovanperä switched to Mitsubishi 's factory team and competed a full WRC programme, finishing seventh in the drivers' world championship with only final podium in Australia, where was second behind Duval. After Mitsubishi suddenly left the series before the 2006 season, Rovanperä signed on to drive Škoda Fabia WRC for Red Bull
Red Bull
Škoda Team in six events without any significant result.

In 2007, Rovanperä was a regular competitor of the SRC Finnish Rallycross
Rallycross
Championship with a rear-wheel driven Ford Focus as well as a Volvo S40 , but finished only 11th overall. He had many technical problems with both cars.

In October 2010 Rovanperä and his co-driver Jouni Närhi got the first overall in La Carrera Panamericana
Carrera Panamericana
in a Studebaker 1953 just 12.9 seconds ahead from the Mexican driver Michel Jourdain, Jr.

WRC VICTORIES

# EVENT SEASON CO-DRIVER CAR

1 50th International Swedish Rally
Swedish Rally
2001 Risto Pietiläinen Peugeot
Peugeot
206 WRC

CAREER RESULTS

WRC RESULTS

YEAR ENTRANT CAR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC POINTS

1993 HARRI ROVANPERä OPEL MANTA MON SWE POR KEN FRA GRE ARG NZL FIN Ret AUS ITA ESP GBR

NC 0

1994 HARRI ROVANPERä MITSUBISHI GALANT VR-4 MON POR KEN FRA GRE ARG NZL FIN 12 ITA GBR

NC 0

1996 PROMORACING FINLAND FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH SWE KEN IDN GRE ARG FIN Ret AUS ITA ESP

NC 0

1997 SEAT
SEAT
SPORT SEAT
SEAT
IBIZA GTI 16V MON 14 SWE KEN POR Ret ESP Ret FRA ARG 8 GRE NZL Ret FIN 10 IDN 7 ITA 10 AUS 10 GBR 9

NC 0

1998 SEAT
SEAT
SPORT SEAT
SEAT
IBIZA GTI 16V EVO2 MON 11 SWE Ret KEN 5 POR Ret ESP Ret FRA ARG Ret GRE 15 NZL 13

15TH 3

SEAT
SEAT
CORDOBA WRC

FIN 11 ITA Ret AUS 11 GBR 6

1999 SEAT
SEAT
SPORT SEAT
SEAT
CORDOBA WRC MON 7 SWE 16 KEN 6 POR Ret ESP 14 FRA 13 ARG Ret GRE Ret NZL Ret

9TH 10

SEAT
SEAT
CORDOBA WRC EVO2

FIN 5 CHN 5 ITA 16 AUS 6 GBR 3

2000 SEAT
SEAT
SPORT SEAT
SEAT
CORDOBA WRC EVO2 MON SWE 12 KEN

9TH 7

SEAT
SEAT
CORDOBA WRC EVO3

GBR 10

HARRI ROVANPERä TOYOTA COROLLA WRC

POR 4 ESP ARG GRE NZL FIN 3 CYP FRA ITA AUS

2001 PEUGEOT TOTAL PEUGEOT 206 WRC MON SWE 1 POR Ret ESP ARG Ret CYP Ret GRE 3 KEN 2 FIN 4 NZL 3

AUS 4 GBR 2

5TH 36

H.F. GRIFONE SRL

ITA 11 FRA 7

2002 BOZIAN RACING PEUGEOT 206 WRC MON Ret FRA 11 ESP 7

ITA 9

7TH 30

PEUGEOT TOTAL

SWE 2

CYP 4 ARG Ret GRE 4 KEN 2 FIN Ret GER Ret NZL 2 AUS 2 GBR 7

2003 MARLBORO PEUGEOT TOTAL PEUGEOT 206 WRC MON SWE Ret TUR Ret NZL Ret ARG 4 GRE 6 CYP 2 GER FIN Ret AUS 7 ITA FRA ESP GBR Ret

11TH 18

2004 MARLBORO PEUGEOT TOTAL PEUGEOT 307 WRC MON SWE MEX 10 NZL 5 CYP DSQ GRE 3 TUR Ret ARG 5 FIN Ret GER JPN 6 GBR 6 ITA Ret FRA ESP AUS 2 8TH 28

2005 MITSUBISHI MOTORS MITSUBISHI LANCER WRC05 MON 7 SWE 4 MEX 5 NZL Ret ITA Ret CYP 7 TUR 10 GRE 6 ARG 5 FIN 7 GER 10 GBR 4 JPN 5 FRA 10 ESP 10 AUS 2 7TH 39

2006 RED BULL ŠKODA ŠKODA FABIA WRC MON SWE MEX ESP FRA 12 ARG ITA 20 GRE 12 GER FIN JPN CYP Ret TUR 11 AUS NZL GBR 9 NC 0

REFERENCES

* ^ "Rovanpera hits big time in Sweden". BBC
BBC
. 2001-02-11. Retrieved 2008-01-23.

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikimedia Commons

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