Coach’s Favorite Race Drivers: Markku Alen Car News

The brief was simple. An email to all journalists on Autocar: choose your favorite racing driver of all time.

What we weren’t expecting was a whole repertoire of answers that came back. Covering most eras and a wide spectrum of sport – from Formula 1 to club racing – it shows how diverse motorsport and its followers are. For once, there are no wrong answers: it has sparked a lot of discussion and quite a bit of disbelief, but in the end, it’s all about personal choice.

Do you agree with us? Would you like to choose someone different? Let us know in the comments below.

Markku Alen

When Markku Alen participated in Rally Finland 2001; a unique ride to celebrate its 50th anniversary – a tradition among Finnish rally drivers – a sticker on the rear bumper of his Ford Focus WRC simply read: “The original maximum attack”.

That’s all you need to know about Markku. He blended speed, style, charisma and determination like never before or since.

The ‘Italian Finn’ – who drove for Fiat and Lancia for over 15 years, also being part of their Le Mans team – won 20 rallies but never the world title, which was largely due to his uncompromising approach.

People like me would of course say that he did indeed win the world title – certainly for at least 11 days – until it was taken away from him after the FIA ​​canceled the results of Rally Sanremo in 1986. But it’s a whole different story …

Many consider Markku to be the fastest ever. Proof of this is the incredible number of WRC stages he won: 821. It was such a lasting benchmark that it was only beaten by Sébastien Loeb in 2011 – and don’t forget that at the time from Markku, there were a lot fewer rallies.

But it’s never statistics that lead you to your favorite drivers. Instead, it all depends on how they practice their art. Markku in his prime was an unfettered ball of nerve energy – the complete opposite of a quintessential Finn – and those traits never left him. At a WRC event he rarely slept or ate as he often got nervous and at the start of a stage he was visibly shaking with adrenaline. Markku was wired to his own supply before it even became a phrase.

Out of the car, however, he was an infallible model of modesty, charm and eloquence. Markku loves to talk (again, not very Finnish) and he does it with his hands as much as his words, even though what he says is pure Finno-Italian staccato poetry.

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This notice was published: 2021-04-26 07:01:23