Harri Rovanperä had arranged an old Toyota rally car for his eight-year-old son, who otherwise could not sit behind the wheel, watch the road and manoeuvre the pedals. In a YouTube video his son Kalle did some incredible evolutions and became an online sensation. Kalle actually started driving motorbikes and mini buggies at the age of three, and by the time he was six, dad Harri had put him behind the wheel of a real car, and by eight, he had turned him into a YouTube sensation. Twelve years later, in New Zealand, that baby phenomenon became the youngest world champion in rally history, at 22 years and one day: with his Toyota Yaris he pulverised the record of a rally myth, the Scot Colin McRae, who had become champion at the age of 27 in 1995. Finland is a land of rally drivers, but had not had a world champion since 2002, when Marcus Gronholm won. There had been the period of the Hakkinen and Raikkonen, but in a different kind of racing. Kalle Rovanperä was brought up like the Williams sisters in tennis and is the Max Verstappen of rallies: Max’s father Jos had been a racer and his mother a karting champion; in turn, Harri had been a professional driver in the early 2000s, even winning the Swedish Rally in 2001 in a Peugeot 206 WRC. Dad Rovanperä put his son in the car as soon as he could, building a professional life for him from an early age: Finnish law did not allow a child under 18 to take part in rallies, so he took 14-year-old Kalle to race in Estonia, with his old WRC co-driver Risto Pietilàinen as his son’s co-driver. On 18 October 2015, Rovanperä won both the two-wheel drive and R2 categories of the Latvian rally sprint championship with a Citroén C2 R2 Max. Since then he has not stopped winning and Finland even changed the rules of the sport to allow him to compete on his home roads at the age of 17. But being the fastest in the world on snow and one of the fastest on dirt was not enough: to be a complete driver he had to learn how to race on asphalt, so in 2017 Rovanperä competed in the national championships of Latvia, Italy and Finland. In Latvia and Finland he drove a Skoda Fabia R5 from Toni Gardemeister’s team and in Italy a Peugeot 208 T16 from the Peugeot Sport team, to learn how to drive on asphalt alongside phenomena like Andreucci. During his Italian adventure he did not yet have a driving licence and therefore could not drive during transfers and reconnaissance, but only in the race, so his dad was his driver during reconnaissance and the navigator took the wheel during transfers. Kalle holds no fewer than seven precociousness records and is a national hero in Finland: for his precociousness, calmness and mastery in difficult conditions, he is reminiscent of Matti Nykanen, another Finnish legend born like him in Jyvàskylà, the ski jumping star, or the man who made the impossible possible, who died of alcoholism at the age of only 55. Kalle has a clear idea of what he wants to become: being the youngest rally world champion is just a starting point for him.