World Rally Championship
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Tour de Corse
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Lancia Delta S4

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Henri Toivonen

Knowledge Identifier: +Henri_Toivonen


Henri Toivonen

Finnish rally driver born in Jyv add

Category: Politics

Born in 1956.

Countries: (28%), France (25%), Finland (13%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: World Rally Championship, Tour de Corse, Lancia

Linked to: Porsche, Lancia, Formula One, Opel




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Henri Toivonen was born in 1956 add something


His father, Pauli Toivonen, was the 1968 European Rally Champion for Porsche and his brother, Harri Toivonen, became a professional circuit racer add something


With Antero Lindqvist as his co-driver, he made his World Rally Championship debut at the 1975 1000 Lakes Rally , driving a privately entered Simca Rallye 2 add something


Toivonen graduated to Formula Super Vee the following year and won a round of the European Championship, as well as becoming the 1977 Finnish Champion in the Formula Vee class add something


Toivonen started his 1978 season at the Arctic Rally, the second round of both the European Rally Championship and World Rally Championship's "FIA Cup for Drivers", the predecessor to the official drivers' world championship which was established in 1979 add something


Toivonen started his 1978 season at the Arctic Rally, the second round of both the European Rally Championship and World Rally Championship's "FIA Cup for Drivers", the predecessor to the official drivers' world championship which was established in 1979 add something


In the 1979 season, he gathered rallying experience by competing in 15 rallies in the British, Finnish and European championships add something


Over 20 years after the 1980 RAC, Paul White commented that he still receives questions about the rally and Henri Toivonen add something


These performances led to a contract with the factory Talbot Competition team for the 1980 season add something


Toivonen's first World Rally Championship victory came with a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus at the 1980 Lombard RAC Rally in Great Britain, just after his 24th birthday add something


Toivonen's team mates were Ari Vatanen, who had won the previous year's championship , the 1980 and 1982 world champion Walter Röhrl and Jimmy McRae, the previous year's British Rally Champion and father of future rally star Colin McRae add something


Chrysler Sunbeam - The car saw not only enthusiastic press reviews, but much success in the World Rally Championship - in 1980, Henri Toivonen won the 29th Lombard RAC Rally in one, and in 1981 the Sunbeam Lotus brought the entire Manufacturer Championship to Talbot


In the 1981 season, he was signed up for a larger WRC programme and had a new co-driver, Fred Gallagher, who would later partner Juha Kankkunen and Björn Waldegård in a Toyota Celica Twincam Turbo add something


For the 1982 season, Toivonen switched to the Rothmans-sponsored Opel team, which was co-managed by David Richards add something


Toivonen continued with Opel into the 1983 season, now driving the Manta 400, which took advantage of the new Group B regulations add something


After a score of ten starts, two podiums, three other top six finishes and five retirements, Toivonen left Opel Team Europe for the 1984 season add something


Despite nearly ending up paralysed at the Rally Costa Smeralda early in 1985, he returned to rallying later that year add something


The 1985 season started badly when Toivonen crashed his Lancia 037 into a brick wall at the Rally Costa Smeralda, in the European Championship, seriously injuring his back and breaking three vertebrae in his neck add something


Toivonen chose to become a full-fledged Lancia driver for the 1985 season add something


He won the last event of the season, the RAC Rally, as well as the 1986 season opener, the Monte Carlo Rally, which his father had won exactly 20 years earlier add something


It is often reported that during the 1986 Rally Portugal, he drove his Delta S4 at the Estoril track, and recorded a lap time which would have qualified him in sixth position at that year's Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix add something


The 1986 Tour de Corse, a world rally around the island of Corsica, began on Thursday, 1 May. Toivonen had a sore throat and was suffering from flu, but he insisted on driving after having lost his championship lead in the last two rallies add something


The 1986 season started with a dominant win for Toivonen at the Monte Carlo Rally with new co-driver Sergio Cresto add something

Henri Toivonen died in 1986 add something


Toivonen, driving a Lancia Delta S4, died in an accident on 2 May 1986 while leading the Tour de Corse rally in Corsica add something


Markku Alen - Having become unequivocal team leader in the aftermath of team-mate Henri Toivonen's death in Corsica the following year, Alén narrowly lost the 1986 World Rally Championship to rival driver, Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 E2 pilot Juha Kankkunen


Jean Todt - In 1986 Henri Toivonen died driving a Lancia Delta during the Tour de Corse rally and the FIA decided to drop the Group B class as being too fast and too dangerous


Jean-Marie Balestre - In 1986, a few hours after the death of Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresto in a crash, Balestre announced the spontaneous decision of the FISA to ban Group B rallying in favour of the slower, less technically advanced Group A. Despite this decision, WRC driver fatalities peaked in 1989


Tour de Corse - In 1986, exactly a year later, Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto died in their Lancia Delta S4 during the 18th stage of the event, "Corte-Taverna"


Rallying - On the 1986 Rallye de Portugal, four spectators were killed; in May, on the "Tour de Corse", Henri Toivonen went over the edge of a mountain road and was incinerated in the fireball that followed


Citroen BX - The 4TC only participated in three rallies before the Group B class was banned in late 1986, following the death of Henri Toivonen in his Lancia Delta S4 at the Tour de Corse Rally


Within hours of Toivonen's accident, Jean-Marie Balestre and the FISA decided to ban Group B cars from competing in the 1987 season add something


Peugeot - Following FIA's banning of Group B cars for 1987, in May after Henri Toivonen's fatal accident, Todt was outraged and even pursued legal action against the federation


In 1988, former rally driver and arguably the most successful female race car driver in history, Michèle Mouton, organised the first Race of Champions to commemorate Toivonen's death add something


Michele Mouton - In 1988, she co-founded the international motorsport event Race of Champions in memory of her former rival Henri Toivonen


Harri Toivonen quit his racing career in 2002, ending the 40-year racing history of the Toivonen family add something


Sebastien Loeb - Besides his success in rallying, Loeb is a three-time winner at the Race of Champions, after taking home the Henri Toivonen Memorial Trophy and the title "Champion of Champions" in 2003, 2005 and 2008


John Davenport, author and former rally co-driver, stated in 2004 that "Group B could have been tamed add something


In 2006, Toivonen was honoured at the Neste Oil Rally Finland add something