Harri Rovampera Sumar
Born in April 1966, Harri Rovanpera started his international rally career at the age of 23, driving a Sunbeam Avenger. Harri became a favourite among the Finnish rally spectators when he competed in the Group F national championship in the early nineties.
Rovanpera took part to his first World Rally event in 1993: the 1000 Lakes Rally. Unfortunately, his Opel Manta suffered from mechanical problems and Harri had no choice but to retire. The following year,
the Finn made his second attempt at the 1000 Lakes Rally, this time at the wheel of a Group N Mitsubishi Galant and finished third in his category. In 1995, Harri focused on the Finnish Rally Championship in an Opel Astra.
Harri drove a Seat Ibiza kit car in the 2-litre class of the 1996 World Rally Championship. In 1997 and 1998, the Finn won nine victories in the 2-litre category and scored his first point in the World Championship by finishing fifth in the 1998 Safari Rally.
Between 1998 and 2000, Rovanpera competed in around twenty WRC events in a Seat WRC and clinched his best performance in the 1999 Rally of Great Britain when he finished in third place.
The 2000 season was a turning point for Harri Rovanpera. He took part to four rounds of the World Championship in a Toyota Corolla WRC. Harri achieved two convincing results: a fourth place in Portugal and a third position in Finland, enough to be noticed by Peugeot Sport, the French team offering him a contract for the following season.
In 2001 and 2002, Rovanpera drove a works team Peugeot 206 WRC in a total of twenty races. He won his first WRC victory at the 2001 Rally Finland and was able to score points every time he reached the finish line (14 times in total), including nine podiums.
His third year at Peugeot wasn't as successful. Rovanpera took part to nine rallies at the wheel of the French team's 206 WRC and his best result was a second position in Cyprus. He also won the Costa Smeralda Rally, which is now part of the WRC calendar under the 'Rally Italia Sardinia' name.
Harri added two more podium results to his credit in 2004, one in Australia and the other in Greece, driving the Peugeot 307 WRC. Rovanpera joins Mitsubishi for 2005 and becomes the team's number one driver.