Ari Vatanen

Picture of Ari Vatanen

Date of Birth: 04/27/1952

Age: 64

Place of birth: Tuupovaara

Citizenship: Finland


Vatanen was born and raised in Tuupovaara in Eastern Finland. The debut year in professional rally was the 1970 for it. In 1974 he made his debut in the World Rally Championship (WRC) in the "home" Rally of 1000 Lakes. In 1976 and 1980, Vatanen won the British Rally Championship. In 1977 he became a permanent member Ari WRC, speaking at the wheel of Ford Escort RS1800. Since 1979, he became a racing driver team Rothmans Rally Team, continued to fly RS1800. At the Acropolis Rally 1980, he scored his first victory. From 1979 until the end of 1981 his co-driver was David Richards, who in the future head of the company Prodrive and one of the most influential people in world motorsport. In 1982godu Vatanen did not defend his title and took a part in three rallies WRC. In 1984, he signed a contract with the factory Peugeot team and played for the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16. At the wheel of Rally Argentina in 1985 was in a severe accident. On a full recovery Vatanen took 18 months. In 1987, Ari returned to motor racing and won four Paris-Dakar Rally in 1987, 1989 and 1990. for Peugeot in 1991 for Citro & # 235; n. In 1988, Vatanen was in the lead in the Rally Paris-Dakar while his car was not stolen, which caused a great scandal. Together with Peugeot, he also won the prestigious American race - Climbing the hill Pikes Park.

In 1988, Vatanen published autobiography "Every second is considered to be" (eng. Every Second Counts, ISBN 0-946719-04-7), which immediately became a bestseller.

Vatanen played in the WRC more or less frequently until 1998 inclusive. He piloted the car the team Mitsubishi Ralliart Europe in 4 Rally 1989 and 5 - 1990. From 1992 to 1993. Ari stood for Subaru factory team in the 11-minute rally thrice finished second, including the Subaru Impreza debut race at the Rally Finland in 1993. The following year he returned to piloting Escort, speaking now the driving Ford Escort WRC factory team. The best results here were third place on Rally Argentina 1994 Safari Rally in 1998. At the last stage of the season 1998 - Rally of Great Britain made Vatanen at the wheel of the Subaru. This race was the hundredth in the career of Ari Vatanen, after which he left the motor racing and concentrated on political activity.

Passion for racing Vatanen with age has not left. In 2003, behind the wheel of Nissan Vatanen he took part in the Dakar Rally and finished seventh. In the same year, Ari reappeared in the WRC on the Rally Finland at the wheel of Peugeot 206 WRC Bozian Racing team and finished in 11th place. In 2004 and 2005. he again played for the Nissan driving on the Dakar Rally. The last time Ari Vatanen took part in the Dakar Rally in 2007 for the factory Volkswagen team. On the 7th stage it fizzled.