Hannu Mikkola (the first Flying Finn) – an obituary
Hannu Mikkola, a Rally legend through and through, has passed away at the age of 78. A one-time rally champion in 1983 along with 18 event wins, he inspired and earned the respect of many fans and colleagues alike. He leaves behind a lasting legacy and will be greatly missed by all.
Written By Ian Bruce and Aiden Hover, Edited By Daniel Yi
Hannu was renowned for his ability to achieve outstanding feats in unlikely cars, such as winning the 1975 Rallye du Maroc in his Peugeot 504 with Jean Todt. However, it was with Ford that he began to make his mark on the WRC (World Rally Championship) stage, helping pilot the team to the 1979 manufacturer’s title alongside co-driver Arne Hertz. He unfortunately missed out on the driver’s crown by a measly one point.
After switching to Audi, he immediately proved his worth by achieving two WRC event wins in 1981 and 1982. He finally achieved his dream in 1983 when he piloted the incredible Audi Quattro to the world drivers title with four victories, despite suffering four DNF’s throughout that season.
Over the course of his illustrious rallying career, Hannu made 123 WRC starts, achieved 18 event victories, and stood on the podium 44 times with his last podium coming in the Acropolis rally, directly after his last win in the Safari Rally in 1987. He came full circle with his final outing in 1993 where he drove a Toyota Celica to 7th at the 1000 lakes rally in Finland, the very place he started his successful career all those many years ago.
We at Divebomb send our sincerest condolences to Hannu Mikkola’s family and friends as the storied tale of the first Flying Finn comes to an end.