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Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. Mark Gallagher analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Hannu Mikkola’s death in February, at the age of 78, has caused the world of motorsport to reflect on a golden age of rallying, when marshals’ whistles would be followed by the deep ululation of an Audi Quattro bursting over a crest. Long before Flying Finns graced Formula 1, rallying was in thrall to the talents of a Mikkola, Ari Vatanen, Markku Alen or Henri Toivonen.

FIA President Jean Todt was one of those to post a tribute, noting that the weekend of Mikkola’s passing coincided with the Arctic Rally Finland. Forty-six years ago, Todt was co-driver for Mikkola on the original Arctic, the pair sharing a Fiat 124 Abarth. Later that year they would win the Rallye du Maroc in a Peugeot 504 Ti.

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