Björn Waldegård

Bjorn_Waldegard

Personal information
Nationality Sweden Swedish
Born November 12th 1943
Died August 29th 2014
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1973~1992
Teams BMW, Toyota, Lancia, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat
Rallies 95
Championships 1 (1979)
Rally wins 16
Podiums 35
Stage wins 290
Total points 428
First rally 1973 Monte Carlo Rally
First win 1975 Swedish Rally
Last win 1990 Safari Rally
Last rally 1992 Safari Rally

INTRODUCTION

Björn “Walle” Waldegård (born in Rimbo, Sweden) was a Swedish rally driver and endurance event specialist. He was one of the predominant drivers in the World Rally Championship in the seventies and eighties, and was in 1979 the first official world champion in the drivers’ championship; a title he achieved behind the wheel of a Ford Escort RS1800. He was also known for his long working relationship with Toyota, which lasted from the early eighties to early nineties. He won the famous Safari Rally a whopping three times; the latest in the 1990 season, at the age of 46, which is up to date still the record for the oldest winner of a WRC event. Also, Waldegard had some success in rallycross during the mid seventies.

GROUP B RESULTS

(# = finish position / R = retired or DNF / = did not compete)

Y TEAM EVENT PTS
Monaco
MC
Sweden
SE
Portugal
PT
Kenya
KE
France
FR
Greece
GR
New Zealand
NZ
Brazil
BR
Finland
FI
Italy
IT
Ivory Coast
CI
United Kingdom
GB
82 Toyota R R 1 3 7 36
Y Team Event pts
Monaco
MC
Sweden
SE
Portugal
PT
Kenya
KE
France
FR
Greece
GR
New Zealand
NZ
Argentina
AR
Finland
FI
Italy
IT
Ivory Coast
CI
United Kingdom
GB
83 Toyota 12 R 1 R 20
84 Toyota R 1 5 R R 28
85 Toyota 2 R 7 2 R 34
86 Toyota 1 1 United States
US5
86 pts 48

BIO (~1986)

Björn Waldegård debuted rallying in 1962. In 1967 and 1968, he consecutively won the Swedish Rally Championship. In 1969, came his first international success when he drove a factory Porsche 911 with a surprise win at the Monte Carlo rally. A feat that he was able to repeat in 1970, again in a Porsche.

By the time of the inaugural season of the World Rally Championship in 1973, Waldegard was now one of the front runners at the highest level of rallying. In season 1975, he was signed by Italian team Lancia to drive their innovative Stratos HF. With this car, he grabbed his first WRC victory in his home event of Sweden that same year.

In 1976, there was some controversy during the Rallye San Remo in Italy, the home event for Lancia; prior to the final stage of the rally was Waldegard leading with just four seconds over Italian teammate Munari, team management would prefer a tie finish or a win for Munari at his home event, and insisted that Waldegard wait four seconds on the starting line before leaving. Waldegard, ignored this and went flat out to subsequently win the rally. Before the end of the season he left Lancia to sign with Ford. Waldegard managed to be competitive again.

As of the 1979 season, the FISA introduced the first official drivers’ championship in the WRC. Waldegard managed to win twice out of seven podium finishes to claim that debut championship, with only one point ahead of teammate Hannu Mikkola.

For 1980, Waldegard drove for a myriad of teams including Fiat, Mercedes, and Toyota, and was not able to retain the title who went to Walter Röhrl instead. In 1981, Waldegard signed with Toyota, the team led by former fellow driver and compatriot Ove Andersson, where he was responsible for the first major successes of the team. In 1982, he brought Toyota’s first WRC victory during the Rally New Zealand.

From 1983 to 1986, Toyota had a difficult time remaining competitive in the newly formed Group B class, as their Celica Twin Cam was largely under-powered and rear wheel drive only. However, the Celica brought production car reliability and ruggedness to the game, which proved to be a winning combination in endurance events. In that period, Waldegard won both the Safari Rally and the Rallye Côte d’Ivoire twice, and finishing second once on each rally, all to great praise from the underdog team.

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B6rn_Waldeg%C3%A5rd


spell checked, translated, and modified (additions or abridged), by Jay Auger – website owner & author


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