The Return of The Flying Finn

Cars People Culture

It’s exactly 30 years since Ari Vatanen won the UK stage of the World Rally Championship in the crazy days of Group B racing.

This November Ari will be back in the UK for the Wales Rally GB (13th-16th November) but alas not behind the wheel of a Peugeot 205 T16, or indeed in his beloved Escort RS1800.

He’ll be in attendance to pick up a new annual honour -starting this year- that of ‘Rally Legend’, and we couldn’t think of a better candidate.

His spectacular and fearless driving style won him a large and lasting fan base in Britain and bagged him the 1976 Championship.

On the flip side it nearly cost him his life the following season in a crash which was also the start of the end for Group B rallying.

Watch this space for a more in depth investigation into the startling success of Finnish drivers. In a couple of months we’ll be looking to solve the riddle when we ask…

‘What is that Finnish thing?’

Ari charges to Victory in 1984
Ari charges to Victory in 1984