european-rallycross-championship

10

Walle⬇Björn Waldegård
*1943
†2014
He had a career that spanned 4 decades; he made his debut in 1962 & after winning the Swedish Rally Championship in 1967 & ‘68, continued to compete at the top level until 1992 when a broken arm suffered during a crash in the 1992 Safari Rally forced his retirement. His first international victory, at the wheel of a Porsche 911, came on the 1969 Monte Carlo Rally, while his last came for Toyota on the 1990 Safari. It made him the oldest driver to win a WRC event, a record he still retains.
In the mid70s Waldegård took part in the newborn European Championship for Rallycross Drivers with a privately entered Porsche Carrera RSR. His best overall result was to become the Runner-up to Austrian Franz Wurz, father of Alexander, of the 1974 Embassy European Rallycross Championship.
The Alitalia-Lancia team of the 1970s frequently choose between star drivers Waldegård & Italian frontrunner Sandro Munari. Waldegård and Munari came head to head in the 1976 Rallye Sanremo. Waldegård had a 4-second lead over Munari entering the final stage, only to be forced to squander that advantage in keeping with the team’s hopes for an 'equal’ shootout. Waldegård, however, emerged as victor by four seconds, having disobeyed team orders & overtaken Munari – as a result, Waldegård left Lancia & joined Ford in 1976.
Driving Ford Escort RS1800 models, Waldegård won 3 of the world’s most punishing rallies in 1977; the East African Safari Rally, the Acropolis Rally & the RAC Rally.
He was later victor in the inaugural World Rally Championship series in 1979 for Ford & Mercedes, beating Hannu Mikkola in the final round at the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire in the Ivory Coast, by finishing 2nd behind his rival.
In September 2008, Waldegård took part in the Colin McRae Forest Stages Rally, a round of the Scottish Rally Championship. On the event he drove a Porsche 911.
In 1970 Waldegård took part in the Targa Florio on a JW Automotive Porsche 908. He finished 4th together with Dick Attwood.
He died in 2014.
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