Markku Alén

Markku Alén

Personal information
Nationality Finland Finnish
Born February 15 1951
Helsinki
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1973~1993, 2001
Teams Ford, Fiat, Lancia, Subaru, Toyota
Rallies 129
Championships 1 (1978)
Rally wins 19
Podiums 56
Stage wins 801
Total points 840
First rally 1973 1000 Lakes Rally
First win 1975 Rally Portugal
Last win 1988 RAC Rally
Last rally 2001 Neste Rally Finland

INTRODUCTION

He drove for Fiat, Lancia, Subaru and Toyota in the World Rally Championship, and held the record for most stage wins (801) in the series, until Sébastien Loeb overtook it at the 2011 Rally Catalunya. Alén’s phrase “now maximum attack” became well-known in the sport.

Alén never won the world championship itself, despite being for a long time the driver with the most wins to his credit. However, he did win the FIA Cup for Drivers in 1978, the precursor to the World Championship for Drivers established in 1979. In 1986, he was the world champion for eleven days, until Peugeot’s appeal went through and the results of Rallye Sanremo, which Alén had won, were annulled.

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 Lancia 9 R R R 4 12
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 Lancia 2 4 1 2 5 3 1 100
84 Lancia 8 2 4 1 3 2 2 R 90
85 Lancia R R 3 4 37
86 Lancia R 2 R 3 R R 2 2 3 1 2 United States
US1
86 pts 104

BIO (~1986)

Early Career

Alén’s interest in motorsport came from his father, who was the 1963 Finnish champion in ice racing. Alén started his rallying career in 1969 driving a Renault 8 Gordini, and finished ninth at the 1000 Lakes Rally at his first attempt. After getting a contract with the Finnish Volvo importer to drive the Volvo 142, he finished third at the 1000 Lakes in 1971 and 1972. At his World Rally Championship debut at the 1973 1000 Lakes Rally, he took second place behind Timo Mäkinen.

Fiat (1974–81)

Alén’s performances at his home event caught the attention of both Fiat and Ford. With Ford’s Escort RS 1600, he established his reputation as a hard-charger on the 1973 RAC Rally by finishing third, despite rolling his car on the first day and dropping to 178th place. This resulted in a “dream contract” with Fiat, with a very large salary. Alén also became the first rally driver to be assigned a personal fitness program.

In 1974 and 1975, Alén drove the Fiat 124 Abarth Rallye, achieving several podiums and then his debut WRC win at the 1975 Rally Portugal. During the 1976 season, Fiat debuted the new Fiat 131 Abarth, which would prove to be a big improvement over its predecessor. Alén won the 1976 1000 Lakes and the 1977 Rally Portugal, and helped Fiat to their first manufacturers’ title in 1977.

Then in 1978, Alén took the car to two wins and five consecutive podiums. In the Rallye Sanremo, he debuted in Alitalia Fiat’s Lancia Stratos HF and won his third world rally of the season. These performances brought him the FIA Cup for Drivers title, well ahead of main rivals Jean-Pierre Nicolas and Hannu Mikkola, and Fiat their second manufacturers’ title. Alén continued with Fiat for the next three years, taking a win each season.

Lancia (1982–89)

After Fiat wound up their works rally team, Alén moved to the related Lancia team. In 1982 he debuted the marque’s first of two Group B category homologated models, the Lancia 037, a rear-wheel drive car which was, in consequence, a particular performer on the championship’s asphalt rounds. Alén’s several wins with it in 1983 helped Lancia narrowly pip Audi and their four-wheel drive long wheelbase quattro to that year’s constructors’ championship. Indeed it was Alén who was responsible for the car’s final victory, on the 1984 Tour de Corse, in a year in which Audi retook both of the title honors, before it was replaced by the four-wheel drive Lancia Delta S4 from the final round, in Great Britain, of the 1985 season.

Having become unequivocal team leader in the aftermath of teammate Henri Toivonen’s death in Corsica the following year, Alén narrowly lost the 1986 World Rally Championship to rival driver, Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 E2 pilot Juha Kankkunen. Late in the season, Alén had been victorious on the Rallye Sanremo only after Kankkunen’s Peugeot team was excluded by the organizers on a controversial technicality. Peugeot subsequently appealed the exclusion to the FISA, which eventually annulled the results of the rally, stripping Alén of the World Championship title which he had held for just eleven days, which lead to Alen famously boycotting the 1987 Monte Carlo Rally.

Alén remained at Lancia until 1989 after the abolition of Group B at the end of 1986 and adapted successfully to the replacement Group A formula.

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markku_Al%C3%A9n


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


PHOTOS & VIDEO

AlenOlympus86 M Alén alén

alén & toivonen


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