Timo Mäkinen 18th March 1938 - 4th may 2017
Finland's Timo Mäkinen was one of the original 'Flying Finns' of the rallying world. He is most famous for his hat-tricks of wins in th RAC Rally and his exploits in the MIni Cooper.
Mäkinen's first international rally was in the 1959 1000 Lakes Rally, in a Triumph TR3. He later drove works Austin Healeys and Minis. In the big Healey, he finished fifth in the RAC Rally in 1963. Mäkinen drove Minis during most of 1964 but came second in the RAC Rally in a Healey, at the end of that year. He returned to the Mini Cooper S in 1965, winning the Monte Carlo Rally and the 1000 Lakes, and capturing a Coupe des Alpes at the Alpine Rally.
In 1967, Timo Mäkinen drove his Mini at a high speed through the famous Ouninpohja stage of the 1000 Lakes with the car's bonnet open. Leather straps holding the bonnet were not strong enough to cope with the terrain. He tried to put his head out of the side window but his helmet was too big and he could only stick his head halfway out. So he had to skid the car sideways continuously to see the road ahead. Even so, Mäkinen was third fastest on that stage and he also won the rally overall, for the third year in a row.
In 1975, Mäkinen won the RAC for the third time in a row, this time driving a Ford Escort RS1800. Mäkinen won the Finnish Rally Championship, the ice track championship six times and the saloon car race championship three times.
In 1969, Mäkinen changed sports and competed in the very first Round Britain Powerboat Race, which he won. In 2010, he was among the first four inductees into the Rally Hall of Fame, along with Carlsson, Hopkirk and Aaltonen.A true great of the motorsport world. we will be sadly missed.