50 years after a large victory: Rauno Aaltonen lines adult during a start pushing a classical Mini in a Monte Carlo Rally Historique 2017.

Munich/Monte Carlo. The winning automobile seemed to be
positively minute, though a entertaining was epic. Relief, pride, and a
certain volume of compensation mingled with unrestrained when Finnish
motorist Rauno Aaltonen directed a BMW Competition Departement Mini
Cooper S opposite a finishing line as altogether leader of a 36th Monte
Carlo Rally on 20 January behind in 1967. This was already a Mini’s
third delight in Monaco after a victories in 1964 and 1965. Yet the
win also had quite mystic power. The year before, a driver
of a small British automobile believed it had cumulative a win for a third
foe in period though a Mini was afterwards unfit by a race
officials in a preference that drivers and fans comparison still find
formidable to sense even today. The consolation felt by a race-going
spectators for a David in a margin of high-powered Goliaths
indeed increasing as a outcome of this outcome. And interjection to
Aaltonen’s pushing skills, a classical Mini had now delivered the
suitable riposte.

Up until today, a 3 pretension wins gained in a Monte Carlo Rally
have tangible a quintessential sporting cachet enjoyed by a brand.
These successes were highlighted during a prolongation anniversary hold at
a MINI plant in Oxford and during a entrance of a new
MINI John Cooper Works Countryman. And even a MINI John Cooper Works
Rally grown for a Dakar Rally – a ultimate continuation exam in
a complicated universe – continues to simulate a excellence of a three-times
“Monte” winner. The mindfulness stays consecutive and this continues to
be a box on a 50th anniversary of a feat that
eventually remade a classical Mini into a motor-sport legend.

Rauno Aaltonen has motionless to applaud a anniversary in a proceed dear
to his possess heart. He will be removing into a cockpit of a classic
Mini, holding on a hardships of a expostulate to Monaco over a stretch of
scarcely 1 250 kilometres, and steering a petite British automobile up
and down a high towering roads by France’s Maritime Alps,
looking for a ideal braking indicate on icy surfaces. This is where
normal drivers in complicated cars currently can’t even code a second or
third best braking point. In short, usually a few weeks after his
79th birthday, Aaltonon will be competing in a Monte
Carlo Rally Historique 2017. And he muses out shrill as to how good it
would be if he were to win a foe again, 50 years after his great
triumph, and mount once some-more on a winners’ lectern during Port Hercule in Monaco.

The classical Mini is prepared to go, a group is in a starting
blocks and a “road book” is complete.

Aaltonen’s sporting aspiration has also prisoner a imagination of BMW
Group Classic. It is promulgation a special MINI CLASSIC Rallye Team along
to line adult during a start of a 20th book of the
normal foe and relive a excellence days of a “Monte” in
a 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.  The group has prepared a ideal automobile for
a Finnish motorist – a Mini Cooper S that already competed in the
Monte Carlo Rally in 1965 and has now been totally rebuilt by
Swedish association Söderqvist Engineering. They have brought it adult to
foe standard. CEO of a association Hans-Åke Söderqvist and his
son are partial of a use team, alongside Swedish motorist Stig
Blomqvist, Rally World Champion in 1984, and Phil Anning from British
association Swiftune Engineering, that has been concerned in the
growth and prolongation of racing engines for a classical Mini for
some-more than 50 years. Ten sets of peaked wheels will be in a baggage.
They were specifically constructed in Finland for a 10 in. wheels of the
classical Mini and afterwards painstakingly finished by hand.

Like a group and a classical Mini, Aaltonen has also done meticulous
preparations. In December, a Finnish motorist surveyed a entire
track in a code new MINI Cooper S Clubman in method to write a
finish “road book”. The memories of a winning expostulate behind in 1967
came flooding behind with any bend and on any climb. But a seasoned
aged palm is not going to rest on memories alone. His meticulous
proceed warranted him a nickname of “Rally Professor” all those
decades ago, and he available all a critical sum about the
route. Aaltonen also has an gifted co-driver during his side. Hans
Sylvan (72) from Sweden took on a purpose of co-driver looking after
navigation and timing. Sylvan has also competed in a “Monte” several
times and he enjoyed a successful career over many years with Stig Blomqvist.

From Bad Homburg to Monaco – and that is usually a warm-up.

The “Monte” has been hailed as a many fantastic and toughest
racing foe of a kind for decades. There are innumerable
mythological tales about a marathon stages during a start of a race,
icy roads over towering passes, sleet storms entrance out of nowhere and
a “Night of a Long Knives” during a high towering pass Col de
Turini. In 1998, a organisers during a Automobile Club de Monaco
combined a new book for ancestral automobiles to applaud the
mythological standing of a event. The convene is always hold some dual weeks
after a tangible foe and emulates a strange convene with a first
leg hold as a star rally. This year, 7 European cities offer as
star points. On Friday 27 Jan 2017, Aaltonen and Sylvan will start
off in Bad Homberg on a track to Monaco. There they will expostulate the
initial leg to Valence. The foe afterwards continues with a turn tour and
lapse to Monte Carlo, followed by a final night expostulate on 31 January.

Only vehicles of a form that were means to line adult during a start of
a Monte Carlo Rally between 1955 and 1980 are available to take
part. There are no such restrictions for a drivers. However,
applicable believe of a convene is not expected to be a disadvantage.
Nevertheless, nobody in a stream margin of starters can possibly
have enjoyed such a resources of intensive, different and eventually also
successful believe of a “Monte” as Rauno Aaltonen.

The ardent start was followed by a category victory.

At a finish of 1961, a Finn has usually turn inhabitant convene champion
in his home nation and he was afterwards on a look-out for a automobile to
take on a plea of a “Monte”. He struck propitious with a works
group of a British Motor Corporation. Aaltonen debuted together with
a Mini Cooper, that valid to be intensely rival from the
opening in contrariety to a reduction absolute prior model. However, the
earnest relationship roughly came to a comfortless end. Three kilometres before
a finishing line, a automobile was in second place when it came off the
road, incited a somersault and afterwards went adult in flames. Aaltonen and his
co-driver Geoff Mabbs were means to get out of a automobile during a last
minute. After this thespian opening gambit, Aaltonen returned to line
adult during a start pushing a Mini Cooper in 1963. This time he finished
a Monte Carlo Rally as category leader and third in a altogether placings.

In a following year, a Irish motorist Paddy Hopkirk gathering the
classical Mini to a initial altogether victory. Aaltonen achieved seventh
place. The epoch of a “Three Musketeers” started during a “Monte” in
1964 – Aaltonen and Hopkirk were assimilated by Finnish motorist Timo Mäkinen
to make adult a trio. In 1965, Mäkinen achieved a second overall
feat in a classical Mini in a expostulate but earning any penalty
points, while his associate countryman was not enclosed in a placings
after he had to take time out. This was an unsuitable start to the
year for Aaltonen, nonetheless he succeeded once some-more in holding the
inhabitant champion’s pretension in Finland and went on to grasp overall
feat in a European Rally Championship.

Successful trio: The “Three Musketeers”.

The “Three Musketeers” had their strongest tour during a Monte Carlo
Rally in 1966. Timo Mäkinen, Rauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk
dominated a foe right from a start. At a finish of a race, they
were ranked one to 3 in that method for a altogether placings. But
a fun of a shawl pretence for a classical Mini was unusually brief.
The contingent of drivers was subsequently unfit since of lights
that were presumably not in correspondence with a central regulations
according to a French foe officials.

One year later, a amazement about this preference had melded into
indifferent determination. 1967 sounded a hour of a third
“Musketeer” in a Monte Carlo Rally. Altonen and his co-driver Henry
Liddon, who had formerly been in a winning automobile alongside Paddy
Hopkirk in 1964, were a fastest span of a BMC Team and they were
in a really earnest position during a start of a “Night of a Long
Knives”. The foe was motionless on a Col de Turini in pushing snow.
And as Aaltonen was to describe usually many years later, quick cornering
roughly brought about a same outcome as during his “Monte” entrance five
years earlier. This was since a Mini Cooper S incidentally took
off when a skirmish down a towering became too adventurous. The car
afterwards crashed by a undergrowth and to a warn of a crew
they unexpected found themselves behind on a highway again. Aaltonen and
Liddon took a low exhale and gathering a automobile to a successful finish.

Rauno Altonen wants to take a some-more totalled proceed to racing in the
new book of a foe 50 years later. The Monte Carlo Rally
Historique is being staged as a trustworthiness rally. This means that low
speeds and excessively high speeds can be punished with penalty
points. Aaltonen and Sylvan are also starting a foe in a category of
“Low Average Speed”. They are therefore relying on slight and
precision. And they are looking for victory, as a really special detail
indicates. Their classical Mini bears a start series 177. This is the
accurate method of total that became a propitious series for a winning
automobile in 1967.