Rally star Airikkala dies

Former World Rally driver Pentti Airikkala died yesterday following a long illness

Rally star Airikkala dies

The Finn, 64, contested 36 WRC events between 1973 and 1990 and took his only victory on Rally GB (then the RAC Rally) in 1989. He later made a one-off return to Rally GB in 2003.

Airikkala was also the Finnish Rally champion in 1974 and British Rally champion in 1979.

After his retirement, Airikkala ran a racing and rallying school in Oxfordshire where future WRC champions Colin McRae and Richard Burns, and current factory Ford WRC drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala were among his students.

Airikkala had been battling prostate cancer in recent years and was admitted to hospital shortly before his death after suffering liver problems and a fall.

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Pentti Airikkala, 1945-2009

Pentti Airikkala, 1945-2009
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