Tommi Mäkinen

Tommi Mäkinen

Finland (FIN)

 

 

 

CAREER PROFILE

1985: Started rallying with Ford Escort RS 2000

1987: Drove a gr.N Lancia, his WRC debut in Rally Finland

1988: Keep on driving with gr.N Lancia, Finnish Champion with his brother Tuomo

1990: 3rd in Group N FIA Cup with Mitsubishi

1991: Joins Mazda, 5th in Rally Finland

1992: Four rallies with works team´s Nissan Sunny GTI-R

1993: Drives Astra-Team´s Lancia, 10th WRC for Drivers

1994: 1st WRC win in Rally Finland with Ford.  Drives also work´s team Mitsubishi and F2 Nissan for British Championship, 10th WRC for Drivers

1995: Full WRC programme with Mitsubishi. 1st in Rally Finland (only F2-Event), 2nd in Sweden, 5th WRC for Drivers

1996: Winner of five WRC events with Mitsubishi, World Champion

1997: Winner of four WRC events with Mitsubishi, World Champion

1998: Winner of five WRC events with Mitsubishi, World Champion

1999: Winner of four WRC events with Mitsubishi, World Champion

2000: Win in Monte Carlo with Mitsubishi, 5th WRC for Drivers

2001: Wins in Monte Carlo, Portugal and Kenya with Mitsubishi, 3rd WRC for Drivers

2002: Move to Subaru, Win in Monte Carlo, 8th WRC for Drivers

2003: Drives Subaru, 8th WRC for Drivers

Date of Birth:
26/6/1964 at Puuppola (Jyväskylä county)

Marital status:
Live together with Elisa, one son

Hobbies:
Snowmobiling, Enduro

World Drivers' Champion:
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999

Entries of WRC Events

 

 


Tommi Mäkinen has grown to become one of the dominant stars of the World Rally scene over the last five seasons. Mäkinen was long a protege of Juha Kankkunen, growing up on his family´s farm only a ten-minute drive from Jyväskylä, centre of the Rally Finland. He made his series debut in semi-works Lancia. Early career highligt was leading Group N in Rally Finland '87 until rolling. His career was transformed in 1990, when he teamed up with his experienced co-driver Seppo Harjanne. They drove a Group N race prepared Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 in five World Rally Championship events, finishing in the top 10 places twice overall.The following year he drove gr. N Fords and Mitsubishis before Hannu Mikkola steered him into the Mazda team mid-season.

By the end of 1991 he had been poached for the ill-fated Nissan Sunny GTi-R project before returning a year later to Lancia. But in 1993 some were suggesting that Tommi Makinen was getting too old to be in with a chance of a works drive. If he didn't land a 'big' car in short order it would be too late.

As if by magic, Ford came along with an offer for the Rally Finland and Mäkinen simply destroyed the opposition to take his first world championship rally win. That win with Ford prompted Mitsubishi Ralliart to grab him for San Remo. For most of the season he was with Nissan, driving the Sunny GTI F2 car on the World Championship and, for most of the season, on the British Championship as well.

Over the winter Mitsubishi got his name on a contract, and he was on the World Championship trail once more. Despite another win on the 1000 Lakes, he was frustrated to be forced to give best to Kenneth Eriksson in Sweden.

In 1996, Mäkinen surprised the rally world, winning five out of nine rounds in the World Rally Championship and took the WRC title with ease. Another dominant performance in 1997 saw Makinen score points in every round he finished, and take the championship despite just four wins to Colin McRae's five.

in 1998 he had both good and bad luck. Car´s troubles was very surprising and in the middle of the season it seemed almost clear that he had no chance to repeat his Champions. Three wins in a row changed the situation and after the final and full dramatic event - Rally Great Britain, he was World Champion again. Historically third time in a row.

In 1999 he achieved World Champion for the fourth year in a row. Makinen was now equal with Juha Kankkunen, who has been rallying´s only four times World Champion.

The new Millennium started very well when he won Monte Carlo and placed second in Sweden, but after that all went wrong. Mitsubishis were off the pace and he was not able to fight for the title.

In 2001 he took third successive Monte Carlo win and he was leading the Championship, but he got only one point during the last six events of the season. He placed third in the series. For the season 2002 Mäkinen signed a two-year agreement with Subaru. He joined the Mitsubishi in 1994 and has won 22 out of his 23 WRC victories piloting a Mitsubishi.

Already in Monte Carlo, on his first event with a works Subaru, he made rallying history taking fourth successive Monte Carlo win and achieving his 24 WRC victory. After that everything went wrong and he was able to take the podium place only two times during the whole season. Many accidents and technical problems prevented good results. In 2003 Makinen kept on driving with Subaru and took the second place in Sweden. After that he struggled to maintain that form. After Rally Finland he announced his retirement from the sport at the end of the season. 

Tommi Makinen holds the honour of being the only four-time consecutive champion in the history of the World Rally Championship.

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