Rally ace Ingvar Carlsson dies

Former Mazda factory World Rally Championship driver Ingvar Carlsson has died at the age of 62

Rally ace Ingvar Carlsson dies

The Swede is believed to have suffered a short illness before passing away last Thursday.

Carlsson was best known for a brace of WRC wins in 1989, when he collected victories on the Swedish Rally and Rally New Zealand in a Mazda 323.

It was with the Japanese manufacturer that Carlsson made his name. Prior to signing for Mazda, the talented, unassuming Carlsson had driven for Datsun, Fiat, BMW and Mercedes.

Like many of his countrymen, Carlsson's rally career began at the wheel of a Volvo and was more than willing to cross over to the other side of the car in order to gain more experience of rallies, he tackled the 1972 RAC Rally as co-driver to Hakan Lindberg in a Fiat 124.

In 1984 Mazda boss Achim Warmbold employed Carlsson to try to turn the rotary-engined RX-7 into a world rally winner. Unfortunately, this was the mid-1980s and world rallying was ruled by total traction, so the rear-drive Mazda struggled from the outset.

The RX-7 was passed over in favour of what appeared to be a much more suitable rally car: the 323 4WD. Carlsson began development on this car in 1985. Both Warmbold and Carlsson gave the new car its WRC debut on the 1986 Monte Carlo Rally, but neither finished - the Swede suffering gearbox failure.

Given that it was homolgated into Group A and, therefore, had at least one year's worth of development on the likes of Lancia and Ford who entered the category in 1987 after the banning of Group B, the 323 never truly delivered. But Carlsson got the best out of it.

His win in Sweden came after his team-mate Timo Salonen parked his sister Mazda in a snowbank. But in New Zealand, after a shade under seven hours of driving, Carlsson beat his Kiwi team-mate Rod Millen by more than two minutes to seal his second world rally win.

Carlsson remained with the Mazda team as the 323 4WD was morphed into the 323 GT-X in 1990, but he retired from the sport when Mazda called it a day at the end of the following year.

Autosport sends its condolences to Carlsson's family and friends.

shares
comments
Loeb welcomes Alsace WRC move

Previous article

Loeb welcomes Alsace WRC move

Next article

No guarantees on Pirelli's WRC future

No guarantees on Pirelli's WRC future
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Author David Evans
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021