‘Flying Finn’ Hannu Mikkola, one of many biggest rally drivers of all time, passes away aged 78

‘Flying Finn’ Hannu Mikkola, one of many biggest rally drivers of all time, passes away aged 78

Mikkola’s sons paid tribute to him on social media late Friday together with different racing veterans corresponding to World Rally champions Carlos Sainz, Sebastien Ogier and Petter Solberg.

'Flying Finn' Hannu Mikkola, one of the greatest rally drivers of all time, passes away aged 78

File picture of former world rally champion Hannu Mikkola (centre). AFP

Paris: Hannu Mikkola, one of many prime 10 rally drivers of all time, has died of most cancers aged 78, his sons and the World Rally Championship have mentioned.

“Sure, this unhappy information is appropriate,” a World Rally Championship spokesperson instructed AFP on Saturday.

The Ford and Audi driver, referred to as the “Flying Finn”, gained the coveted World Rally Championship in 1983 and Finland’s notoriously unnerving 1000 Lakes Rally seven occasions.

His sons paid tribute to him on social media late Friday.

“We misplaced my father Hannu to most cancers this weekend,” tweeted Vesa Mikkola, one of many driver’s two sons.

“Most knew him as a rallying nice who ushered within the golden years of the sports activities. To me he was dad – and an unimaginable one at that.”

Different racing veterans corresponding to World Rally champions Carlos Sainz, Sebastien Ogier and Petter Solberg mourned his dying.

“Coronary heart warming to see the posts remembering my dad,” Juha Mikkola, the Finnish driver’s different son, wrote on Twitter.

“Most knew Hannu Mikkola as a rally driver; I am going to bear in mind him as a tremendous husband to my mother Arja, father to Vesa and me, and grandfather.

“Thanks for every little thing dad, you set an unimaginable instance for us to comply with in life.”

Mikkola started his profession at Volvo, gained his first World Rally Championship race in a Ford Escort and secured his solely championship with Audi.

He got here near successful his first title a number of years earlier, ending runner-up to Bjorn Waldegard in 1979 and Walter Rohrl the next 12 months.

Mikkola would go on to affix Mazda earlier than he retired from motorsport in 1993.

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