The world of rallying is in mourning this weekend. On Friday night, the sad news emerged that 1983 World Rally Champion Hannu Mikkola had passed away, aged 78.
It brought a grey cloud over the ongoing Arctic Rally Finland, with thoughts switching between the on-stage action and memories of Mikkola – widely regarded as one of the best of his generation.
The word legend gets thrown around a lot, but Mikkola’s success, prowess behind the wheel of particularly a Ford Escort and Audi Quattro, and the unparalleled longevity of his career means it’s most certainly a fitting description of the Finn.
DirtFish spoke to his former team-mate and now FIA safety delegate Michèle Mouton, seven-time world champion Sébastien Ogier, Hyundai team principal Andrea Adamo, former competitor and current M-Sport CEO Malcolm Wilson, 14-time WRC winner Mikko Hirvonen, and Toyota team principal and former driver Jari Matti Latvala – who shares a tally of 18 WRC victories with Mikkola – who all paid tribute and recalled their best Mikkola moments.