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Pentti Airikkala (1945-2009)

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The rallying community mourns as it loses another legend...

Penti Airikkala has recently lost his battle with cancer, aged 64. The Finn blazed a trail throughout the rallying world during the 1970s and '80s, impressing fans across the world.

He is fondly remembered for his time spent at Dealer Team Vauxhall, where his extrovert driving style became synonymous with the lairy Vauxhall Chevette HSR, and with it, he dominated British rallying to take his only title in the UK in 1979.But, his greatest achievement was realised behind the wheel of a Mitsbishi Galant VR4 during the late 1980s. After seeing off Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae, he scored a popullar victory at the 1989 Lombard RAC Rally – the final time this epic rally was run without pace notes.He never really starred in front line rallying from that point, but made a success of his rallying school, which was responsible for launching the competitive careers of countless drivers – all who were versed in the art of his beloved left-foot braking style.

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