Mini at the Monte Carlo Rally

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ

 

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(from Mini)  Regarded as the toughest event on the rallying circuit, the Monte Carlo Rally has held a special place in motorsport lovers' hearts since its inception in 1911.

The year 1964 went down in the books as a particularly memorable year.  Starting at Minsk - one of the nine different starting points in the rally that year - Paddy Hopkirk and his co-driver Henry Liddon powered to victory in a Mini Cooper S, to the astonishment of the rest of the field and the racing fraternity.

This initial Mini victory was repeated in the following year and in 1967, but it's the first victory that sticks in the mind.

The best way for the Mini to prove that the initial Monte victory was no flash in the pan was...to win it again the following year.

The 1965 Monte Carlo Rally saw six Mini Cooper S on the starting line.  Despite arduous conditions that put paid to many of their competitors, Timo Makinen and Paul Easter took the outright title, with Paddy Hopkirk and Henry Liddon in 26th and Don and Erle Morley in 27th position.

The success story continued even further.  In the 1967 rally, Rauno Aaltonen and Liddon made it a hat trick of victories for the Mini team.  But for some dubious decisions the previous year, it would have been four out of four.  In 1966, the Mini team took first, second and third, only for all cars to be disqualified for apparent breaches of headlamp regulations.