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Ari Vatanen

Ari Vatanen

World Rally Champion

British Championship in 1976, Vatanen became a regular competitor in the World Rally Championship from the following year at the wheel of a Ford Escort RS1800. Signed to the Rothmans Ford team in 1979, Vatanen and new co-driver David Richards, now Chairman of Motorsport UK, took their first WRC win at the 1980 Acropolis.

After winning the WRC drivers title in 1981, Vatanen joined Peugeot at the wheel of a 205 T16 and was on course to win the 1985 World Championship until a near-fatal accident in Argentina ended his season and nearly his life.

The Finn recovered to return to the sport winning four Paris-Dakar Rallies in 1987, 1989, 90 and 91, as well as smashing the record for the Pikes Peak Hill climb in a 600bhp Peugeot 405 T16 in 1988.

Catch Ari on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 February.

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