30 years later, Henri Toivonen remains in the memory


Although there is no doubt that Jyväskyla is known for hosting in their surroundings, the Rally of Finland, this town 133,000 inhabitants also it is linked to the WRC for being the place of birth in 1956 of Henri Toivonen. Son of Pauli Toivonen, Champion of Europe Rally in 1968, the little Henri started to drive at the age of five years, a clear sign of what’s involved in motorsport in Finland and one more example of the ‘procedures’ that have led over the years to Finnish schools to be the clear dominator of the WRC.

Even so, Henri Toivonen began his career in circuits. Karts, cars and formulas passed through its hands, although the influence of his father Pauli was critical to decant your path towards the rally. In fact, the parents of Henri encouraged him to compete in rallies, when you doubt of the safety circuits, this being thought, another example of the philosophy suomi around the races. A decision which had consequences in the history of the country since the first kart Toivonen was acquired by the parents of Mika Häkkinen, which ended up being Formula one World Champion 1.

Henri Toivonen made his debut with 19 years in the Rally of Finland WRC, with Antero Lindqvist as co-pilot. It was not the premiere expected, as Toivonen had to leave due to a fault on your Simca Rallye 2. Two years later, he returned to the test with a Chrysler Avenger that he ended up in fifth position, which helped him to become a name in the championship. After living two seasons with the programs discrete, Toivonen was signed by Talbot Cars and at the wheel of a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus took victory in the RAC Rally of Great Britain.


This victory allowed Toivonen to be the youngest driver to win a
rally WRC
, a record that took Jari-Matti Latvala in 2008. Without
however, this triumph was only one of the three that got in the
championship. Went back up to the top of the podium in Great
Britain in 1985 with a Lancia Delta S4 and in the following season he won the Monte carlo Rally, in their first rally together to
Sergio Cremnant
. After conquering the sections of the test more
the history of the championship, Toivonen did not return to finish a test

Left the Rally of Sweden by an engine problem and
in the Rally of Portugal withdrew voluntarily, as
did all the official drivers after the accident suffered by the
Ford Fiesta RS200 of Joaquim Santos, a mishap that injured over 30
spectators and caused the death of three fans. Weeks later and with disagreements between Lancia and the Finnish driver,
Henri Toivonen came to the Tour de Corse, a test that started on may 1
of 1986 and in which the pilot suomi insisted on competing despite
drag a process for influenza-like illness

Henri Toivonen started leading the rally, but after the first stage was recognized to have problems
keep the Lancia Delta S4 on the road. The next day, and during the
dispute of the eighteenth special, Henri Toivonen suffered an accident
a curve to the left
. The Delta S4 Toivonen and Cremnant rushed
by a ravine, exploding the fuel tank. Without any
witness, the causes of the mishap are never clarified, but this accident
marked the end of the Group B, the cancellation of the Group’s and the
death of one of the fastest riders in the history of the WRC. 30 years
later, Henri Toivonen remains in our memory