- 1972, 1987
Hannu Mikkola, a Finnish rally driver born in 1942, is celebrated as one of the pioneers and icons of the World Rally Championship (WRC) and a true legend in the sport. His career, which spanned from the 1960s to the 1980s, marked him as one of the most accomplished and respected figures in rallying.
Mikkola’s rally journey began in the 1960s, where he quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the Finnish rally scene. His exceptional car control, precise driving, and fearless approach to racing made him a standout talent. In 1974, he secured his first WRC victory in the London-Sydney Marathon, setting the stage for his international rally success.
Hannu Mikkola’s notable achievements include the 1983 WRC Drivers’ Championship, driving for the Audi team. His championship victory was characterized by consistent and methodical driving, which earned him the nickname “The Flying Finn.” The Safari Rally of 1987 was won by Hannu.
Mikkola’s versatility was evident as he competed with various teams, including Ford, Audi, and Toyota, showcasing his adaptability across different terrains and weather conditions. He achieved a total of 18 WRC victories throughout his career.
Beyond his competitive driving, Mikkola was renowned for his sportsmanship and his role in mentoring younger talents in the sport. His influence on the development of rally racing extended far beyond his own accomplishments.
Hannu Mikkola’s legendary career and contributions to the world of rallying continue to be celebrated. He remains an enduring figure in the sport, admired for his exceptional skill, consistency, and his significant role in shaping the WRC’s history.