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The Info List - Pentti Airikkala


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PENTTI AIRIKKALA (4 September 1945 – 30 September 2009) was one of the "Flying Finns " who dominated world rallying in the past four decades. His career was more sporadic than many of his contemporaries, and he competed in only three World Rally Championship (WRC) events regularly; the two Scandinavian rallies (the 1000 Lakes and the Swedish Rally
Swedish Rally
) and the RAC Rally
RAC Rally
in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
.

Airikkala was born in Helsinki
Helsinki
, Finland
Finland
. Most of his top flight competitive experience was behind the wheel of various rear wheel drive Vauxhall /Opels like the Chevette HS and Magnum coupé , but his greatest success came in the twilight of his career, when he exploited his local knowledge as a longtime UK resident to win the 1989 RAC Rally in a Group A
Group A
Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 . He is still the third oldest driver to win a WRC event.

Altogether he competed in 36 WRC events between 1973 and 1990, and a 37th in 2003, scoring 102 points and achieving a best of 9th overall in the 1981 Drivers' Championship. He also contested the British Rally Championship in the 1970s/80s, becoming British Rally Champion in 1979. Since retiring from full-time international competition he operated a highly successful rally driving school in Oxfordshire teaching left-foot braking , where his roster of pupils included subsequent World Champions Colin McRae
Colin McRae
and Richard Burns
Richard Burns
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Death * 2 WRC victories * 3 Complete WRC results * 4 References * 5 External links

DEATH

Airikkala died at Bray, Berkshire , UK , aged 64. He had been battling illness in recent years and was admitted to hospital shortly before his death after suffering liver problems and a fall.

WRC VICTORIES

# EVENT SEASON CO-DRIVER CAR

1 38th Lombard RAC Rally 1989 Ronan McNamee Mitsubishi Galant VR-4

COMPLETE WRC RESULTS

YEAR TEAM/ENTRANT CAR WRC ROUND WDC POINTS

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

1973 Opel
Opel
Finland Opel
Opel
Kadett MON SWE POR KEN MAR GRE PLD FIN RET AUT ITA USA GBR FRA

N/A N/A

1974 Dealer Team Vauxhall Vauxhall Magnum
Vauxhall Magnum
Coupé POR KEN FIN 16 ITA CAN USA

N/A N/A

Center Hotels/ Clarke ">GBR RET FRA

1975 Dealer Team Vauxhall Vauxhall Magnum
Vauxhall Magnum
Coupé MON SWE KEN GRE MAR POR FIN RET ITA GBR 20 FRA

N/A N/A

1976 Privateer Ford Escort RS1600
Ford Escort RS1600
MON SWE POR KEN GRE MAR FIN 2 ITA FRA

N/A N/A

Team Avon Tyres

GBR RET

1977 Toyota Team Europe Toyota Celica
Toyota Celica
MON FIN SWE RET POR KEN NZL GRE ITA SA PLD

– 0*

Dealer Team Vauxhall Vauxhall Chevette
Vauxhall Chevette
2300 HSR

FIN RET ITA CAN FRA ITA AUS ESP FRA GBR 16 CIV

1978 Dealer Team Vauxhall Vauxhall Chevette
Vauxhall Chevette
2300 HSR MON FIN SWE RET KEN POR GRE SCO 2 PLD FIN 3 NZL CAN FRA ITA ITA AUS ESP CIV FRA GBR RET 10th 10*

1979 Dealer Team Vauxhall Vauxhall Chevette
Vauxhall Chevette
2300 HSR MON SWE 3 POR KEN GRE NZL RET FIN RET CAN ITA FRA GBR 7 CIV

15th 16

1980 Dealer Team Vauxhall Vauxhall Chevette
Vauxhall Chevette
2300 HSR MON SWE 6 POR KEN GRE ARG FIN RET

GBR RET CIV

36th 6

Masport Ford Escort RS2000
Ford Escort RS2000

NZL RET ITA FRA

1981 Rothman\'s Rally Team Ford Escort RS1800
Ford Escort RS1800
MON SWE 3 POR KEN FRA GRE ARG BRA FIN 5 ITA CIV GBR 4

9th 30

1982 Team Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer
Mitsubishi Lancer
Turbo MON SWE POR KEN FRA GRE NZL BRA FIN 3 ITA CIV GBR RET

15th 12

1983 Martini Racing
Martini Racing
Lancia
Lancia
Rallye 037 MON SWE POR KEN FRA GRE NZL FIN 5 ITA CIV GBR

21st 8

1984 Team Nissan
Nissan
Europe Nissan
Nissan
240RS MON SWE POR KEN FRA GRE NZL ARG FIN RET ITA CIV GBR

– 0

1985 British Telecom
British Telecom
Mobile Phone Vauxhall Astra GTE MON SWE POR KEN FRA GRE NZL ARG FIN ITA CIV GBR RET

– 0

1986 British Telecom
British Telecom
Mobile Phone Vauxhall Astra GTE MON SWE POR KEN FRA GRE NZL ARG FIN CIV ITA GBR 16 USA

– 0

1987 GM Dealersport Opel
Opel
Kadett GSi MON SWE POR KEN FRA GRE USA NZL ARG FIN CIV ITA GBR RET

– 0

1988 Safety Devices Lancia
Lancia
Delta Integrale MON SWE POR KEN FRA GRE USA NZL ARG FIN CIV ITA GBR 4

30th 10

1989 Mitsubishi Ralliart Europe Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 SWE MON POR KEN FRA GRE NZL ARG FIN AUS CIV ITA GBR 1

14th 20

1990 Q8 Team Ford Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4×4 MON POR KEN FRA GRE NZL ARG FIN RET AUS ITA 11 CIV GBR RET

– 0

2003 Fairfield Motorsport Mitsubishi Lancer
Mitsubishi Lancer
Evo VI MON SWE TUR NZL ARG GRE CYP GER FIN AUS ITA FRA GBR RET

– 0

REFERENCES

* ^ Pentti Airikkala, 'Flying Finns' website * ^ A B Hope-Frost, Henry; Davenport, John (2004). The Complete Book of the World Rally Championship. Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
: MotorBooks International. p. 62. ISBN 0-7603-1954-5 . * ^ 38th Lombard RAC Rally, Final classification, Rallybase.nl website * ^ 1981 World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship
for Drivers, Final classification, Rallybase.nl * ^ Pentti\'s Champion Pupils, leftfootbraking.com * ^ "Rally star Airikkala dies". autosport.com. Haymarket Publications . 2009-01-10. Retrieved 2009-01-10.

EXTERNAL LINKS

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