Rally Hall of Fame – Todt, Salonen & Harjanne

This year, the Rally Museum stand showcases the achievements of the new Rally Hall of Fame inductees Jean Todt, Timo Salonen and Seppo Harjanne. At the Harju Special Stage spectators can also enjoy of show runs.

The exhibit will feature four cars that have played key roles in the careers of each of the three rally personalities. Visitors get to admire both a 1984 Peugeot 205 T16 road car and a Peugeot 205 Group B rally car as well as the 1981 Datsun Violet linked to the beginning of the career of Salonen and Harjanne, plus a 1985 Nissan 240 RS rally car. 

On Thursday 1st approximately at 18:25 before the Harju Special Stage, spectators will have a chance to enjoy Rally Hall of Fame show run. In addition, on Friday 2nd at Harju Special Stage spectators will be entertained by show run of Rally Museum. 

Here you can find the histories of the inductees:

Jean Todt

Jean Todt began his WRC career with Ove Andersson in the 1973 Mote Carlo rally, and the same year won two events with Achim Warmbold. In 1975 and 1976 he worked with Hannu Mikkola at Peugeot winning, among other events, the 1975 Rallye du Maroc. Later he drove with Jean-Pierre Nicolas, Timo Mäkinen, Jean-Claude Lefebvre and Guy Fréquelin. In 1981 Todt and Fréquelin won the team championship with Talbot and placed second in the driver’s series. All in all, he took part in 54 WRC events and won four of these.

In 1982 he was named the director of Peugeot Talbot Sport. The team won 16 WRC rallies and driver’s and team championships in 1985 and 1986 with the newly developed Peugeot 205 T16. After the Group B the 205 T16 and 405 T16 won the Paris-Dakar Rally four times in 1987-1990. Todt was named the sports director of the entire PSA Peugeot Citroën Group and the director of the Peugeot sportscar prototype project, which ended with world championship in 1992. In addition, Peugeot won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1992-1993. In 1993 Ferrari hired Todt as the director of their F1 team. In 2001 he became the sports director of Ferrari-Maserati Group and in 2004 the CEO of Ferrari. During his time, Ferrari won 8 team and 6 personal championships and 106 GP races.

In April 2009 Todt left Ferrari to run for the presidency of FIA. He was chosen in October 2009, and in 2019 he is currently on his 3rdconsecutive four-year term.

Timo Salonen

Sensational performance behind the wheel of a Group 1 Mazda in 1974 earned Timo Salonen a place in the Finnish Volvo team. He was hand-picked to drive a factory Datsun in the 1000 Lakes Rally. Finishing 6th, which started his career as a semi-professional. In 1977-78 he twice drove 2ndin the 1000 Lakes Rally, won two Finnish championship silver medals in Group 4, and won his first WRC event in Canada. At the end of the season 1978 Datsun offered him a contract on 6 WRC events. He asked Seppo Harjanne to be his co-driver. The time with Nissan brought the Riihimäki-born pair 2 WRC event victories.

While recovering from a back surgery caused by an injury sustained in his youth, Salonen was contacted by Jean Todt, who ran the Peugeot-Talbot racing team offering him a place there. Salonen thanked him by winning 5 WRC events in the season 1985 and securing his championship by the 1000 Lakes Rally in August. In 1986 Salonen won in Jyväskylä and the RAC rally, winning the 3rdplace this last year of Group B. After Peugeot he transferred to Mazda winning the teams only rally in Sweden in 1987. Continuing with Mitsubishi in 1991, he ended his WRC career in 1993 and moving to desert rallies with Citroën.

In the 1970’s earned the nickname “slack”, that well describes his relaxedness and conduct even in tight situations. However, behind the wheel he was everything but: an exceptional talent and merciless fighter.

Seppo Harjanne

A phone call from Timo Salonen changed the plans of Seppo Harjanne in 1979. Before that he had studied economics and worked in different rally organizations in Finland. Salonen, who had signed a contract with Datsun, offered him a seat as his professional co-driver. For the next six seasons Harjanne piloted Salonen in the Datsun/Nissan factory team, until in late 1985 Peugeot-Talbot’s Jean Todt offered them a Group B Peugeot 205 T16 for the 1985 season. The pair immediately won the WRC title. At the end of season 1988 Harjanne decided to end his professional career, however, after a sabbatical year Timo Jouhki, the manager of Tommi Mäkinen, managed to lure him back next to his young protégé. The rest was history, Harjanne and Mäkinen won two championships (1996-1997), after which, at the age of fifty, he retired as co-driver. During his career Harjanne won the WRC titles and 20 WRC rallies and took part in 127 WRC rallies.

In 2001 Harjanne returned as the assistant Clerk of the Course of the Rally Finland. He was responsible for the route and the road book, as well as rally safety. Largely due to his work the Finnish rally is among the best and safest events in the WRC series. The current co-drivers can enjoy Harjanne’s professionalism, in the form of exceptionally detailed road books. He also made a safety- and guidebook for tv-cameramen and photographers that became a standard for the entire WRC series.

Source: Marko Mäkinen / Mobilian Autokylä

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