Kalle Rovanpera denied waiver for WRC debut on Rally Finland
|By David Evans||Wednesday, April 5th 2017, 11:27 GMT|
Rising teenage rally star Kalle Rovanpera will not get a waiver to make his World Rally Championship debut in his home event in Finland this summer.
There had been speculation that the highly-rated son of WRC event winner Harri Rovanpera would be allowed to contest Rally Finland in an R5 car despite still under the legal age limit for a driving licence in his home country.
When asked by Autosport about rumours Rovanpera could get dispensation, an FIA source said there would be no waivers for article 20.4.1 of the WRC sporting regulations - which states: "throughout the rally, both crew members must have a valid driving licence".
There is a precedent in Finland for a road licence to be issued early, but never more than 12 months in advance. Rovanpera will not turn 17 until October.
He will still be allowed to tackle rounds of the Finnish Championship, with co-driver Risto Pietilainen driving the road sections between stages.
It is understood Rovanpera will make his WRC debut on Rally GB in late-October.
Rovanpera, already a two-time Latvian class champion, won his national championship's opening round in February.
Most recently he switched from his regular Skoda Fabia R5 to a Peugeot 208 T16 for a brace of Italian asphalt outings, but struggled to make the same impression as he has on gravel.
Hampered by punctures, he retired from the Rally of Ciocco and finished 14th in Sanremo last weekend.