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GP Week : Issue 113
WRC FEATURE >> people besides his father and later the driver and team manager Guy Frequelin. Apart from his initial two years he never knew a life which did not revolve around rallying. He slept in the back of his father ’s recce Porsche when Pauli practised for the 1000 Lakes. He saw first hand how much the people in his native Finland followed everything to do with Finnish people in rallying, especially when they were abroad. Pauli had won Monte Carlo in a Citroen in 1966 following the famous Mini lights scandal but Henri could later see that it hadn’t been straightforward, as Pauli had curiously received little personal acclaim in the press at all. In 1975 Henri took seven days off school to enter his first rally. It was the 1000 Lakes and he lasted till just six stages from the finish when he jumped too heavily at a now famous place called Myhinpaa. Father Pauli had won Monte Carlo Rally in contentious circumstances in 1966, but 10 years later, when Citroen began a programme of foreign world championship rallies, he arranged for his 22 year-old son to become works driver for them. One year later and the works rally teams round the world were making him offers. Within two years Henri had won the non- championship Arctic Rally, the first win for the Talbot Sunbeam team and later that year he won the RAC Rally itself. For the rest of his life he remembered every detail of that event: “ When we suddenly realised we were leading the event it was ‘Maximum Panic’. I was sure Hannu Mikkola would catch up – that wouldn’t be a disgrace, so I did not worry – but when we reached the stages in Wales I was really nervous. I couldn’t remember which pedal did what and I Rallying in the 1980s was not, of course, monitored second-by-second, electronically, as it is today. Toivonen's team only started to fear something bad had happened when the cars failed to arrive at the mid-stage intersection and later cars were stopped from starting the stage. Spectators at the intersection could see black smoke rising ominously from the adjacent hill-top. By the time the emergency vehicles arrived on the scene, they could only dowse the flames. Such was the ferocity of the fire that only the bare tubes of the chassis remained. Toivonen and Cresto were still in their seats. Lancia engineers and technicians could not determine the cause of the accident because the remains of the car were so charred. It is thought, however, that the car did not have the fuel-tank protection skid-plates sometimes fitted for more rugged events. Within hours of the accident, FISA, headed by Jean-Marie Balestre, banned Group B cars from competing in 1987 and stopped work on future 'evolution' models of Group B cars. Of the six manufacturers involved in Group B, Audi and Ford withdrew immediately, while Peugeot and Lancia alone competed until the end of the season. The Tour de Corse continued the next day and Bruno Saby won with his Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 E2. – Staff/Holmes The crash; the aftermath Toivonen drives the Lancia to the start-line while co-driver Sergio Cresta walks alongside. 25