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Björn Waldegård

Björn Waldegård

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Björn Waldegård from Rimbo
Rimbo
Rimbo is a locality situated in Norrtälje Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden with 4,606 inhabitants in 2005. Rimbo is located about 20 km west of the municipal seat Norrtälje....

 is a former Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 rally
Rallying
Rallying, also known as rally racing, is a form of auto racing that takes place on public or private roads with modified production or specially built road-legal cars...

 driver, and the winner of the inaugural World Rally Championship for drivers in 1979. His Swedish nickname is "Walle".

Career


Waldegård's career spans four decades; he debuted in 1962 and, after winning the Swedish Rally Championship in 1967 and '68, continued to compete at the top level until 1992 when a broken arm suffered during a crash in the 1992 Safari Rally
Safari Rally
The Safari Rally is considered by many to be the world's toughest rally. It was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika, as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II...

 forced his retirement. His first international victory, at the wheel of a Porsche 911
Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 is a luxury 2-door sports coupe made by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany. It has a distinctive design, rear-engined and with independent rear suspension, an evolution of the swing axle on the Porsche 356. The engine was also air-cooled until the introduction of the Type 996 in 1998...

, came on the 1969 Monte Carlo Rally
Monte Carlo Rally
The Monte Carlo Rally or Rally Monte Carlo is a rallying event organised each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco which also organises the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. The rally takes place along the French Riviera in the Principality of Monaco and...

, while his last came for Toyota on the 1990 Safari. It made him the oldest driver to win a World Rally Championship event, a record he still retains.

In the mid 1970s Waldegård took part in the newborn European Championship for Rallycross
Rallycross
Rallycross is a form of sprint style automobile racing, held on a closed mixed-surface racing circuit, with modified production or specially built road cars, similar to the World Rally Cars, although usually with about stronger engines, due to e.g. their 45 mm turbo restrictor plates. It is...

 Drivers with a privately entered Porsche Carrera RSR. His best overall result was to become the Runner-up to Austrian Franz Wurz, father of Alexander Wurz
Alexander Wurz
Alexander Wurz is an Austrian racing driver. He competed in Formula One from until , and is also a two-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours....

, of the 1974 Embassy European Rallycross Championship
Embassy/ERA European Rallycross Championship
The Embassy/ERA European Rallycross Championship was the forerunner of the FIA European Rallycross Championships. It was organised in 1973 and 1974 by automobile clubs from Austria, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden and Finland under the supervision of the Thames Estuary Automobile Club ...

.

The Alitalia
Alitalia
Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. , in its later stages known as Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. in Extraordinary Administration, was the former Italian flag carrier...

-backed Lancia
Lancia
Lancia Automobiles S.p.A. is an Italian automobile manufacturer founded in 1906 by Vincenzo Lancia and which became part of the Fiat Group in 1969. The company has a long history of producing distinctive cars and also has a strong rally heritage. Some modern Lancias are seen as presenting a more...

 team of the 1970s frequently choose between star drivers Waldegård and Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 frontrunner Sandro Munari
Sandro Munari
Sandro Munari is a former motor racing and rally driver from Italy.-Career:Born at Cavarzere, Veneto, Sandro Munari began rallying in 1965 and won the Italian Rally Championship in 1967 and 1969, adding the European Rally Championship title in 1973. In 1972 he won the Targa Florio sports car...

. Waldegård and Munari came head to head in the 1976 Rallye Sanremo
Rallye Sanremo
Rallye Sanremo is a rally competition held in Sanremo, Italy. Except for the 1995 event, the event was part of the FIA World Rally Championship schedule from the 1973 season to the 2003 season. Currently, it is a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and the Italian national rally...

. Waldegård had a four-second lead over Munari entering the final stage, only to be forced to squander that advantage in keeping with the team's hopes for an 'equal' shootout. Waldegård, however, emerged as victor by four seconds, having disobeyed team orders and overtaken Munari – as a result, Waldegård left Lancia and joined Ford
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 in late 1976.

Driving Ford Escort RS models, Waldegård won three of the world's most punishing rallies in 1977; the East African Safari Rally
Safari Rally
The Safari Rally is considered by many to be the world's toughest rally. It was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika, as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II...

, the Acropolis Rally
Acropolis Rally Greece
The Acropolis Rally of Greece |Rally]] of Greece) is a rally competition, part of the World Rally Championship schedule. The rally is held on very dusty, rough and rocky mountain roads around Athens during the Greek hot summer period. The rally is known for being extremely tough on the competing...

, and the RAC Rally.

He was later victor in the inaugural World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship
The World Rally Championship is a rallying series organised by the FIA, culminating with a champion driver and manufacturer. The driver's world championship and manufacturer's world championship are separate championships, but based on the same point system. The series currently consists of 13...

 series in 1979 for Ford
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 and Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is a division of its parent company, Daimler AG...

, beating Hannu Mikkola
Hannu Mikkola
Hannu Olavi Mikkola is a retired world champion rally driver. He was a seven time winner of the 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland and won the RAC Rally in Great Britain four times.- Career :...

 in the final round at the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire
Rallye Côte d'Ivoire
The Rallye Côte d'Ivoire is a rally race held annually in Côte d'Ivoire in Africa. In common with other races on the continent, it is known for its arduous conditions and high attrition rate among competitors. It was part of the World Rally Championship for drivers and manufacturers from 1978 to...

 in the Ivory Coast, by finishing second behind his rival.


In September 2008, Waldegård took part in the Colin McRae
Colin McRae
Colin Steele McRae, MBE was a Scottish rally driver born in Lanark.The son of five-time British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae and brother of rally driver Alister McRae, Colin McRae was the 1991 and 1992 British Rally Champion and, in 1995, became the first British person and the youngest to win the...

 Forest Stages Rally
, a round of the Scottish Rally Championship
Scottish Rally Championship
The Scottish Rally Championship is a rallying series run throughout Scotland over the course of a year, that comprises seven gravel rallies and one tarmac event . Points are awarded to the top placed drivers and the driver scoring the highest number of points over the season is declared Champion...

 centred in Perth
Perth, Scotland
Perth is a town and former city and royal burgh in central Scotland. Located on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire...

 in Scotland. He was one of a number of ex-world champions to take part in the event in memory of McRae, who died in 2007. On the event he drove a Porsche 911
Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 is a luxury 2-door sports coupe made by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany. It has a distinctive design, rear-engined and with independent rear suspension, an evolution of the swing axle on the Porsche 356. The engine was also air-cooled until the introduction of the Type 996 in 1998...

.

International victories

Björn Waldegård, International victories
1969 38ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo
Monte Carlo Rally
The Monte Carlo Rally or Rally Monte Carlo is a rallying event organised each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco which also organises the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. The rally takes place along the French Riviera in the Principality of Monaco and...

Porsche 911
Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 is a luxury 2-door sports coupe made by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany. It has a distinctive design, rear-engined and with independent rear suspension, an evolution of the swing axle on the Porsche 356. The engine was also air-cooled until the introduction of the Type 996 in 1998...

 S
1970 39ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo
Monte Carlo Rally
The Monte Carlo Rally or Rally Monte Carlo is a rallying event organised each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco which also organises the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. The rally takes place along the French Riviera in the Principality of Monaco and...

Porsche 911 S
1970 21st International Swedish Rally
Swedish Rally
The Uddeholm Swedish Rally , formerly the Swedish Rally, is an automobile rally competition held in Värmland, Sweden in early February. First held in 1950, when it was called the Rally to the Midnight Sun with start and finish at separate locations, seventeen years later both start and finish...

Porsche 911 S
1970 41. Österreichische Alpenfahrt
Österreichische Alpenfahrt
The Österreichische Alpenfahrt was a rally that was part of the inaugural World Rally Championship in 1973.- History :...

Porsche 911 S

WRC Victories

 #  Event Season Co-driver Car
1   25th International Swedish Rally
Swedish Rally
The Uddeholm Swedish Rally , formerly the Swedish Rally, is an automobile rally competition held in Värmland, Sweden in early February. First held in 1950, when it was called the Rally to the Midnight Sun with start and finish at separate locations, seventeen years later both start and finish...

1975 Hans Thorszelius Lancia Stratos
Lancia Stratos
The Lancia Stratos HF, widely and more simply known as Lancia Stratos, is a car made by Italian car manufacturer Lancia. The HF stands for High Fidelity...

 HF
2   17º Rallye Sanremo
Rallye Sanremo
Rallye Sanremo is a rally competition held in Sanremo, Italy. Except for the 1995 event, the event was part of the FIA World Rally Championship schedule from the 1973 season to the 2003 season. Currently, it is a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and the Italian national rally...

1975 Hans Thorszelius Lancia Stratos HF
3   18º Rallye Sanremo 1976 Hans Thorszelius Lancia Stratos HF
4   25th Safari Rally
Safari Rally
The Safari Rally is considered by many to be the world's toughest rally. It was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika, as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II...

1977 Hans Thorszelius Ford Escort RS1800
5   24th Acropolis Rally 1977 Hans Thorszelius Ford Escort RS1800
6 26th Lombard RAC Rally
Rally GB
Wales Rally GB is the largest and most high profile motor rally in the United Kingdom. It is a round of the FIA World Rally Championship and was formerly a round of the MSA British Rally Championship and is based in and around the city of Cardiff in Wales...

1977 Hans Thorszelius Ford Escort RS1800
7   28th International Swedish Rally 1978 Hans Thorszelius Ford Escort RS1800
8   26th Acropolis Rally 1979 Hans Thorszelius Ford Escort RS1800
9   7ème Critérium Molson
du Québec
Critérium du Quebec
The Critérium du Québec was a rally competition that was part of the World Rally Championship from 1977 to 1979...

1979 Hans Thorszelius Ford Escort RS1800
10   12ème Rallye Côte d'Ivoire
Rallye Côte d'Ivoire
The Rallye Côte d'Ivoire is a rally race held annually in Côte d'Ivoire in Africa. In common with other races on the continent, it is known for its arduous conditions and high attrition rate among competitors. It was part of the World Rally Championship for drivers and manufacturers from 1978 to...

1980
1980 World Rally Championship season
The 1980 World Rally Championship season was the eighth season of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile World Rally Championship . The season consisted of 12 rallies...

Hans Thorszelius Mercedes 500 SLC
11   12th Motogard Rally of New Zealand
Rally New Zealand
The Rally New Zealand was first held in Taupo in 1969, and was subsequently staged in Canterbury, before moving back to the North Island in 1971.The rally was included as a round of the World Championship in 1977...

1982
1982 World Rally Championship season
The 1982 World Rally Championship season was the tenth season of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile World Rally Championship . The season consisted of 12 rallies. By this time, the schedule format had become generally stable, with only one or two changes to venues year to year...

Hans Thorszelius Toyota Celica
Toyota Celica
The Toyota Celica name has been applied to a series of coupes made by the Japanese company Toyota. The name is ultimately derived from the Latin word coelica meaning "heavenly" or "celestial"....

 2000GT
12   15ème Rallye Côte d'Ivoire
Rallye Côte d'Ivoire
The Rallye Côte d'Ivoire is a rally race held annually in Côte d'Ivoire in Africa. In common with other races on the continent, it is known for its arduous conditions and high attrition rate among competitors. It was part of the World Rally Championship for drivers and manufacturers from 1978 to...

1983 Hans Thorszelius Toyota Celica
Toyota Celica
The Toyota Celica name has been applied to a series of coupes made by the Japanese company Toyota. The name is ultimately derived from the Latin word coelica meaning "heavenly" or "celestial"....

 TCT
13   32nd Marlboro Safari Rally 1984
1984 World Rally Championship season
The 1984 World Rally Championship season was the 12th season of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile World Rally Championship . The season consisted of 12 rallies following the same schedule as the previous season. Stig Blomqvist beat the defending world champion and Audi teammate Hannu...

Hans Thorszelius Toyota Celica TCT
14   34th Marlboro Safari Rally Kenya 1986
1986 World Rally Championship season
The 1986 World Rally Championship season was the 14th season of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile World Rally Championship . The season consisted of 13 rallies, including all twelve venues of the previous season as well as the addition of the Olympus Rally...

Fred Gallagher
Fred Gallagher (co-driver)
Fred Gallagher is a World Rally Championship winning co-driver and motorsport personality.-Career:Gallagher's first WRC rally was the 1975 RAC Rally alongside Norwegian driver John Haugland in a Škoda 120...

Toyota Celica TCT
15   18ème Rallye Côte d'Ivoire
Rallye Côte d'Ivoire
The Rallye Côte d'Ivoire is a rally race held annually in Côte d'Ivoire in Africa. In common with other races on the continent, it is known for its arduous conditions and high attrition rate among competitors. It was part of the World Rally Championship for drivers and manufacturers from 1978 to...

1986
1986 World Rally Championship season
The 1986 World Rally Championship season was the 14th season of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile World Rally Championship . The season consisted of 13 rallies, including all twelve venues of the previous season as well as the addition of the Olympus Rally...

Fred Gallagher Toyota Celica TCT
16   38th Marlboro Safari Rally
Safari Rally
The Safari Rally is considered by many to be the world's toughest rally. It was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika, as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II...

 Kenya
1990
1990 World Rally Championship season
The 1990 World Rally Championship season was the 18th season of the FIA World Rally Championship. The season consisted of 12 rallies. The drivers' world championship was won by Carlos Sainz in a Toyota Celica GT-Four, ahead of Didier Auriol and Juha Kankkunen...

Fred Gallagher Toyota Celica GT-Four
Toyota Celica GT-Four
The Toyota Celica GT-Four is a high performance model of the Celica liftback, with a turbocharged 3S-GTE engine, and full-time AWD. It was created to compete in the World Rally Championship, whose regulations dictate that a manufacturer must build road-going versions of the vehicle in sufficient...


External links