The two-time title winner has decided on just a part season in 2024 and missed the season opening in Monte Carlo, won by Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville.

Rovanpera was the pacesetter in the recent Artic Rally in Finland, despite a mechanical problem in his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 ending his event on the final stage.

He heads to Sweden not only in good form, but with a good road position as well. He will start as the seventh car on the road – perfect for optimum grip on the snowy surface.

“It’s exciting to be starting our season with an event like Rally Sweden. I always enjoy driving on snow and it’s one of the best feelings you can have in a rally car,” the Finn said.

“It’s been cool to get back in the car over the last week at the Arctic Rally and in our pre-event test. Sweden has been a good event for us in the past but last year we were not so strong, so this year we want to fight back.

“As it’s the only round on snow, it’s not easy to find the perfect car setup with only a few days of testing in those conditions. But I think we’ve found some useful things in our tests and we’ve been going in the right direction, so I’m looking forward to the rally.”

Team boss, Jari-Matti Latvala, says the winter conditions should suit his team.

“We had a solid start to the season at Rallye Monte-Carlo and now we are looking forward to Rally Sweden, which is a little bit like a home rally for our team: it’s where we got our first victory back in 2017 and the winter conditions are something familiar for us.

“Last year it was a bit more difficult, so we have really tried to prepare well this year because we want to be back in the fight for the victory.”

The rally entails 18 stages and 300 kilometres of competitive driving over three days.

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