Currently reading: Rally star Airikkala dies
'Flying Finn' dies aged 64

Pentti Airikkala, the former world rally driver, died yesterday aged 64.

Throughout a long career spanning 1973 to 1990 the Finn contested 36 WRC events, taking his only victory on the RAC Rally in 1989.

See high-res gallery of Airikkala's career

Airikkala was British rally champion in 1979 and Finnish rally champion in 1974.

He was known as one of the ‘flying Finns’ who dominated rallying during the 1980s and 1990s, and was perhaps best remembered behind the wheel of the Mitsubishi Galant VR4.

After his competitive career Airikkala set up a successful rallying school, where his pupils included subsequent world champions Colin McRae and Richard Burns.

He is understood to have passed away in Bray, Ireland, after a year-long illness.

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Uncle Mellow 2 October 2009

Re: Rally star Airikkala dies

One of my heroes. He didn't deserve to go so soon.

Samiur Rahman SHAH 1 October 2009

Re: Rally star Airikkala dies

RIP Mr. Airikkala. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

BriMarsh 1 October 2009

Re: Rally star Airikkala dies

That is indeed very sad news, my condolences to his family.

I remember seeing him when I was a rally-addict in the eighties, a great driver. And no one Flys like a Finn...