Born on this day (24th - May)
1910 - 1984
1953 - 2007
1962 - 2002
Died on this day (24th - May)
1873 - 1903
1881 - 1947
1940 - 1981
1919 - 1990
1956 - 1992
1958 - 1997
He was the co-driver for Henri Toivonen in Group B Rally.
Unfortunately, during the Tour de Corse rally on May 4, 1986 was when both he and Henri Toivonen died. This very terrible incident was what caused the immediate announcement that GpB cars were to be banned at the end of the 1986 season after the final round in Wasington State, the Olympus Rally.
The Tour de Corse began on the 1st of May. Henri was suffering from flu, but insisted on driving regardless. Even though he was walking around semi-comatose in comparison to his usual jumpy and nervous self, he was constantly putting up the fastest times for each stage. Competitors and spectators alike could not grasp how someone so far from fitness, could pull out a performance like that.
The wisdom of that was debatable though, as it was not to last. On the 7th kilometer of the eighteenth stage, the Lancia inexplicably left the road and plunged down a ravine, landing on its roof. The aluminium fuel tank, ruptured by the trees as the car rolled down the cliff-face, exploded. Clouds of thick black smoke pinpointed the accident, but there were no marshalls or spectators nearby to lend assistance. Still strapped in their seats and with no means of escape, Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresto burned to death.
No one knew of the accident at the stage finish, and it was only when the Lancia hadn't emerged from the competitive section on schedule, did the team realise that something was amiss. It wasn't until the next crew through explained about the black smoke and fire seven kilometers into the stage, did everyone understand that there had been an accident involving Henri's Lancia.
But it was too late. By the time the emergency services reached the scene, they were faced by an inferno. The trees in which the car had come to rest were so dry, that they added to the flames, fanned by the breeze. The remains of the car were so charred, that the Lancia engineers and technicians couldn't physically determine the cause of the crash.