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Historics: Goodwood Festival of Speed to feature Rauno Aaltonen, Mini

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Goodwood Motor Circuit in Chichester, England announced Thursday, May 20, via press release that rally icons Rauno Aaltonen and the Mini Cooper S will head a line-up of cars on the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Skoda Forest Rally Stage June 26-29. The Rally seeks to celebrate the early days of stage rallying.

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According to Goodwood, Aaltonen won the 1967 Monte Carlo Rally in a Mini, and will get behind the wheel of the ex-works car, in which he finished seventh on the 1964 Monte, on each day. Aaltonen won the European Rally Championship in 1965 to follow-up a pair of domestic titles, and further fed his addiction to winning in circuit racing, taking victory at the 1966 Bathurst 500 in another Mini.

Goodwood relates that Aaltonen remains the only Finn to have won the grueling event, which now runs to 1000 km as the centerpiece of the Australian V8 Supercars season. He will be backed-up on the gravel rally stage by another Cooper S, owned by celebrity chef James Martin and formerly campaigned by Paddy Hopkirk.

Joining the Minis in the ‘Birth of Stage Rallying’ celebration will be a selection of fast Fords with illustrious pasts. Not only will the very first Mk1 Escort RS1600 feature, but it will be joined by the car in which Roger Clark won the 1972 RAC Rally.

A pair of Mk2 RS1800s, campaigned by Ari Vatanen in period, will also join the fray. The car in which he captured the 1981 World Rally Championship will be joined by an earlier machine, taken to victory in the 1975 RAC Rally by Timo Makinen.

Fiat will be represented by examples of the two cars that achieved its 21 WRC wins, the 124 Abarth and 131 Abarth, while an ex-works Datsun 240Z and Opel Kadette GT/E will add more international variety to the entry list.
Cars campaigned by two British heroes of the era, Russell Brookes and Tony Pond, will also be present; a Sunbeam Lotus campaigned by two-time British Rally champion Brookes, and an ex-Pond Vauxhall Chevette completing the line-up.