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Lada VFTS - Hannu Wallinheimo - Tallinn Rally 1986

Last friday (June 10th) we got some sad news. The rallying doctor, Hannu Wallinheimo, had passed away at the age of 76 years old. Hannu was a respectable character within the world of rallying, as he ran with anti-smoking campaigns already in the 80s, when other rally cars and teams enjoyed a massive sponsoring from the tobacco industry. As someone who has never even tried smoking, I feel this is a massive show of character to try to take on the tobacco giants as an underdog. I respect Hannu's efforts on this front massively.

On this rally in question everyone had a Lada. Either the older Lada 21011, the Lada 2105, the upcoming Lada Samara 2108 or the best version, the Lada VFTS. This rally was also the first rally in the then Soviet Union, where drivers outside of Soviet Union were allowed to participate in. The rally consisted of 16 special stages spanning over 136 kilometers. Oh, and in this rally it was illegal to advertise alcohol and tobacco, so Hannu's anti-smoking car was right at home here.

In the rally itself, Hannu started really well, setting a 3rd fastest time on the opening stage and shared 4th fastest time on second stage. Once the rally went to gravel, Hannu's pace dropped some bit and after the first leg he was down to 15th overall, while Harri Väänänen was the fastest Finn. During the second leg of the rally, Hannu continued on his previous level, setting times to be in the top 15-20 mainly. On the final stage which was again on tarmac, Hannu was way faster in comparison to gravel stages, setting the shared 6th fastest time there. At the finish Hannu was 14th overall, losing 4 minutes and 54 seconds to the winning Bolshikh brothers Nikolay & Igor. I have also seen one picture of Hannu's car being upside down in a bush during the rally so it wasn't just an easy breeze through the Estonian roads.

I hope you guys enjoy good health with this way ahead of it's time anti-smoking livery on one of the best cars ever in Richard Burns Rally. Oh, and as far as I know, it's the first Finnish Lada VFTS skin in RBR.

Rest in peace Hannu. 


Here's some pictures of the skin in action. Photos by me.