Rally GB marks 25 years since Kankkunen and Grist's 1993 win
Silver anniversary of epic snow and ice-riven RAC Rally triumph to be celebrated with historic rally parade before Llandudno street stage
Juha Kankkunen and Nicky Grist will mark the 25th anniversary of their epic 1993 RAC Rally win by parading a Toyota before the Wales Rally GB street stage finale.
Between them, the pair won 44 rounds of the World Rally Championship. However, the one in Britain in 1993 – in highly challenging snow and ice conditions – is considered to be among their very best.
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To mark the silver anniversary, the pair will be reunited in a Toyota Celica GT-Four like the one in which they triumphed, as part of a Sunday-morning parade of historic rally cars through Llandudno in north Wales. The GT-Four used for the parade is now owned by Grist, and is the very car in which the pair won their final rally together in Portugal early in 1994.
The parade will provide the curtain raiser for the Llandudno street stage finale of the event taking place on October 7. This will be the first time world championship motor sport has gone ahead on closed public roads in the UK.
Kankkunen and Grist will also be present throughout the four-day Rally GB event, assisting with ceremonies as well as being available to fans for autographs and reminiscences.
‘It will be a pleasure for me to come back to Wales again with Nicky,’ Kankkunen said. ‘I’m looking forward to four days of fun.’
Grist agreed: ‘The more I think about it, the more I’m excited about the whole event,’ he grinned.
‘They were the toughest conditions I have ever driven on in the UK,’ recalled Kankkunen about their 1993 win. ‘Driving on frozen ice roads without the spikes we used in winter rallies like Sweden made it very, very difficult. But we had a great event.’
‘It was absolutely treacherous,’ Grist noted. ‘Without studded tyres, those icy, frozen forest tracks were as hazardous as they come. Juha, though, was such a laid-back character, brimming with natural talent – he took everything in his stride.’
Grist had been standing in as Kankkunen’s co-driver since the year’s mid-point, as Kankkunen’s regular partner Juha Piironen had suffered a brain haemorrhage just before the Argentina Rally.
‘Juha really wanted to give me a first win on home soil,’ Grist added. ‘“Boyo, we will win this for you,” he promised before the start.’
Access to the Llandundo finale will be free for all-comers, although a grandstand seat can be purchased at £20 each or £10 for children.
Further information can be found on the Wales Rally GB website.
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