HELSINKI – Hannu Mikkola, the 1983 world rally champion, nicknamed “Flying Finn” and international reputation in an overarching driving career, has died for more than 30 years. He was 78 years old

Mikkola’s son Vesa Mikkola, a former rally driver, tweeted on Saturday: “We lost my father Hannu to cancer this weekend. Most knew him as the great rally man who ushered in the golden years of the sport. He was a father to me ”

Mikkola began his driving career with Volvo vehicles in the early 1960s, but made a name for himself in the 1970s as a driver of a number of Ford Escorts at world rally championships, including a 1972 win at the East African Safari Rally in Kenya and a British rally championship 1978

On his home turf he won, among other things, the first seven times000 lakes rally in Finland

We lost my father Hannu to cancer this weekend. Most knew him as a great rally man who ushered in the golden years of the sport. He was a father to me – and an incredible one at that. Always supportive, loving and sincere, also a loving one Grandfather to my two boys rest in peace dad ❤️ picTwittercom / xL3L21E5Qz

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He later teamed up with the Mazda team before retiring from professional motorsport in the early 1990s

Mikkola started 123 WRC – with a total of 18 wins – and continued as a guest driver at various events until 2017, the WRC announced in a statement after his death

The news of Mikkola’s death resulted in several tributes from his former colleagues and fans around the world and in Finland, a motorsport powerhouse that has spawned several Formula 1 and rally champions

The winner of the Dakar Rally, Carlos Sainz, and the two-time WRC champion Petter Solberg paid tribute to Mikkola on Twitter

Very sad day for the rally family! One of the best drivers of all time has passed away, Hannu Mikkola My condolences go to his family and friends R i P

Really sad to hear the news about Hannu Mikkola – he was a legend, a real gentleman, a real champion and a great father to great kids I want to express my condolences to his family and friends. CALM IN PEACE picTwittercom / ygZU2TPAJh

The organizers of the WRC Arctic Rally, which took place over the weekend in Rovaniemi in the Finnish region of Lapland, observed a minute’s silence on the podium in honor of Mikkola

In addition, the Finnish Air Force’s F-18 Hornet fighter jets held a memorial flyover in honor of one of the most famous rally drivers in the Nordic country

FIA President Jean Todt, a former rally driver, attended the event and wrote “a legendary driver and a lifelong friend” in a tweet called Mikkola

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Hannu Mikkola, the “Flying Finn”, dies at the age of 78 after his legendary championship career originally appeared at a rally on NBCSports.com

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Hannu Mikkola

World news – FI – Hannu Mikkola, the “flying Finn”, dies at the age of 78 after a legendary championship career in a rally

Source: https://sports.yahoo.com/hannu-mikkola-flying-finn-dies-190052573.html