Juha Kankkunen Ends Rally Finland Career

Last weekend's Rally Finland did not only seal the first win on home soil in the World Rally Championship for Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala, but also the end of an era for triple WRC champion Juha Kankkunen. The Finnish rally driver, who turned 51 in early April, confirmed that he will never tackle the forest roads of Jyvaskyla again.

This was his 22nd participation in the Rally of 1000 Lakes, and the way he ended his Rally Finland career was simply astonishing. Setting a goal of finishing inside the Top 10 at the end – something that, considering his age, many looked at as a mission impossible kind of aim – Kankkunen ended the rally in 8th place.

Not only that, but he also won the Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally Award which, together with his great performance in Finland, contributed to his immense enthusiasm at the finish line.

I was proud to hear the support of so many fans this weekend and was very to be here with some of the best rallying people in the world - many of them have known me for more than 20 years,” said the 51-year old, whose last victory in his home rally was recorded in 1999, according to WRC's official website.

It is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a World Rally Car. I hadn’t spent much time in the latest generation cars and I knew there have been a lot of changes, but I didn’t have any undue surprises. I am delighted to receive this award. It has been fantastic to get back behind the wheel,” added the Finn, who drove for Stobart Ford in Finland.

In the end, Kankkunen confirmed this was definitely his last time behind the wheel of a WRC car. According to, his career might continue in classic rallying competitions.
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