Ove Andersson

3/1/1938 - 11/6/2008

Record updated 20-Jan-23

Rally driver who also competed in endurance racing. He won the Monte carlo Rally in 1971 and the European Rally Championship in 1972. He managed Toyota Team Europe until he retired in 2003 having seen Toyota enter the wold of F1.

Ove Andersson
Andersson began his involvement in motorsport as a rallly driver at the wheel of his own Saab in 1962 and worked his way up through the ranks before being hired to drive by the Lancia works team in 1967, driving the Fulvia to victory on the Spanish Rally.

He also competed in occasional sports car events including the 1967 Targa Florio and the 1968 Daytona 24 Hours.

His first major rallying victory did not come however until he joined the Alpine Renault team and won the Monte Carlo Rally of 1971. The following year he won the European Championship and he remained with the team in 1973 (when he had Jean Todt as his co-driver on several events).

In 1972 he had started his own Andersson Motorsport team in his home town of Uppsala, preparing the Toyota 1600GT for international rallying. This made its on the RAC Rally that year and finished ninth overall.

On the right we find a slim and cheerful Ove Andersson after the Safari Rally in 1973. Ove is adopting the traditional Rally Driver victory pose on the roof of his Peugeot 504. Ove was one of the best rally drivers of his age, but the purpose of the celebration on this occasion isn’t at all obvious, because he hadn’t actually won anything…. Maybe they were just practising! Andersson’s rascally looking young co-driver would do even better for himself; His name is Jean Todt! In October, 2009, he was elected as president of the FIA, succeeding Max Mosley.

Andersson continued to drive for other manufacturers and in 1975 he finally won a World Championship event, taking victory on the Safari Rally in a Peugeot. That year Hannu Mikkola gave Toyota its first WRC win on the 1000 Lakes Rally and Andersson moved his team from Uppsala to Brussels where it became Toyota Team Europe. Andersson retired from competition and concentrated on building up the team, which moved to Cologne in 1979.

There were occasional wins in the 1980s when Toyota concentrated on the Safari Rally but in 1990s TTE became the force to be reckoned with in the World Rally Championship winning the World Championship with Carlos Sainz in 1990 and 1992.

In 1993 Toyota bought the company from Andersson but he stayed on and when Toyota quit rallying in 1999 the team had collected 43 wins, four Drivers' and three Manufacturers' titles.

In 1997 Toyota began work to design and build a Toyota sportscar for the Le Mans 24 Hours and the cars figured strongly in 1998 and 1999 but after that the focus switched to a Formula 1 effort and the company was renamed Toyota Motorsport GmbH. In 2002 he would ultimately guide them into the debauched arena of the Formula One World Championship.

He retired at the end of 2003 but remained a consultant to the team.

Tragically, Andersson was killed in a head-on collision on a blind bend while competing in a vintage car rally in South Africa in June, 2008, driving a 1957 Volvo.