Happy Birthday, Ari Vatanen!

Ari Vatanen has got to be one of the coolest beings on the planet. Here’s my logic:
He was the 1981 World Rally Champion, with 10 victories to his name in the golden age of Group B cars driven by the greats.
After a near-fatal accident in Rally Argentina in 1985, he came back to score podiums and…
to win the 1988 Pike’s Peak Hillclimb in the Peugeot 405 T16 in amazing style. “Climb Dance” actually deserves its own post.
Four (almost five)-time winner of the craziest rally in existence, the Paris-Dakar Rally.
He’s been a member of the European Parliament since 1999. He always looks so spiffy and handsome in politician mode.
And he still manages to make appearances for the sake of thrilling us rally fans. Whether it’s showing up in random places to hand out pastries, or Scandinavian flicking his way around super specials, he’s still every bit as beloved as he’s ever been.

Ari in the good ol’ days   Climb Dance - Driving One-handed

April 28, 2007. Appreciation, Auto Racing, Dakar Rally, Motorsport, Peugeot, Rally, Rallying, WRC. Leave a comment.

Happy Birthday, Miki Biasion!

Since I was just a kid when Mr. Biasion was winning championships, I don’t know much about his career. But the stats just floor me. In 1988, he won all but 2 rallies he entered. Then, in 1989, he won every rally he entered but one! I’m obviously missing out.

But good luck to him–he’s spending his birthday rollicking around the rugged dirt roads of the Dakar Rally.

So do some reminiscing and leave your memories of Miki in a comment.

January 8, 2007. Appreciation, Auto Racing, Dakar Rally, Motorsport, Rally, Rallying, WRC. Leave a comment.

Dakar Rally

Heads up: the Dakar Rally started today. If you’re in the US, you can find a 30 minute highlights show every day on Versus (formerly the Outdoor Life Network). Among the entries are Bruno Saby, Freddy Loix, Nasser Al-Attiyah, and rally legends Markku Alen, Carlos Sainz, Ari Vatanen, and Miki Biasion. Yowza, what an entry list!

If you don’t know what the Dakar is, it’s basically a weeks-long rally (race) in the African desert. It’s insane, it’s extreme, and it’s got rally gods coming out of retirement to drive. Kinda nice.

Here are links to the story and the official site.

January 7, 2007. Auto Racing, Dakar Rally, Motorsport, News, Rally, Rallying, Sports. Leave a comment.