Hannu Mikkola: Finnish rallying great dies aged 78

Hannu Mikkola
Hannu Mikkola, nicknamed 'The Flying Finn', won 18 world championship rallies

Finland's rallying great Hannu Mikkola has died at the age of 78.

He won the world title in 1983 at the wheel of an Audi Quattro and was runner-up in the championship three times.

Mikkola also claimed his home 1,000 Lakes event on a record seven occasions.

"We lost my father Hannu to cancer this weekend. Most knew him as a rallying great who ushered in the golden years of the sport," said his son Vesa.

The 2003 world champion Petter Solberg was among those to pay tribute.

"Really sad to hear the news about Hannu Mikkola - he was a legend, a proper gentleman, a real champion, and a great father to great kids. Sending all my condolences to his family and friends. RIP," he said on Twitter.

Hannu Mikola
Mikkola claimed some of his biggest wins in the four-wheel drive Audi Quattro

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