Rauno Aaltonen

Rauno Aaltonen

17/1/1938

One of the greatest and most versatile Finnish drivers as well as one of the greatest Mini drivers of all-time.

An accomplished sportsman who began his motoring career as a motorcycle racer (road racing, motocross and speedway) he also raced powerboats. In the non-motoring sports, he performed well in sailing and skiing. Aaltonen came to automobile racing through rallying in 1956 with Mercedes and Saabs, but continued at the same time his motorbike career (1958 Finish Champion) and also had a brief go in single seaters. He went on to become one of the greatest and most versatile Finnish drivers ever. He has been a factory driver for Mercedes, BMC (1962-67 his greatest years), Ford, Lancia, Datsun, FIAT, BMW and Opel and shone on the roads and tracks of the world. Probably the greatest Mini driver of all-time (41 factory outings resulted in 8 overall victories and 14 class victories), he was deeply involved with the development of this car. Fell in love with Africa during the East African Safari Rallyes, an event he never won despite coming close numerous times (five times second in 21 starts !). Wrote a book called Revolution Behind The Wheel in the 1970s.

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