Ove Andersson

Ove Andersson

Swedish rally driver
Date of Birth: 03.01.1938
Country: Sweden

Content:
  1. Biography of Ove Andersson
  2. Rally Career
  3. Toyota
  4. Death

Biography of Ove Andersson

Ove Andersson was a Swedish rally driver and the first team principal of the Toyota Formula-1 team. He was born and raised on a remote farm away from major cities. His father bought him a motorcycle, which sparked his love for speed and technology. He began studying mechanics in Uppsala and later worked as an apprentice blacksmith before finding a job at an auto workshop. In 1958, Andersson returned home from the army and was invited by a friend to participate in a race, where they finished in 6th place.

Local racers recognized Andersson's potential, but due to his limited funds, he couldn't afford to compete. His friend Bengt Söderström started working as a driver at the Saab factory, allowing Andersson to borrow parts to make his car more competitive.

Rally Career

In 1963, Andersson made his debut as a rally driver on a Mini Cooper. He impressed team boss Stuart Taylor, who provided him with a Mini Cooper S for the British Rally. He then joined the Saab team in 1964 and 1965 but remained overshadowed by the team's lead driver, Erik Carlsson. In 1965, he switched to Lancia and achieved three podium finishes in three races. He also competed in the Swedish Rally Championship and won the Rally Sweden driving a Lotus Cortina. In 1967, he won the Monte Carlo Rally with Lancia.

Although he signed a contract with Ford for 1968, Andersson competed in the Daytona 24 Hours with Lancia and also participated in the Monte Carlo Rally. By the end of the 1970 season, he moved to Alpine-Renault. Andersson won the Monte Carlo Rally, San Remo Rally, Austrian Rally, and Acropolis Rally driving an Alpine A110. In 1972, he finished second in the Monte Carlo Rally with navigator Jean Todt.

After the inaugural World Rally Championship in 1973, Andersson competed for various teams, achieving seven podium finishes in his 28 stages across different years. He won the 1975 Safari Rally in a Peugeot 504 with navigator Arne Hertz.

Toyota

In the early 1970s, Andersson owned his rally team called "Andersson Motorsport," which later became Toyota Team Europe (TTE). In 1979, he relocated the team from Uppsala to Cologne, Germany. The team achieved victories in the 1980s with drivers such as Juha Kankkunen and Björn Waldegård. In the 1990s, TTE secured WRC wins with Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen, and Didier Auriol. In 1993, Toyota Team Europe was acquired by Toyota Motor Company and renamed Toyota Motorsport.

In addition to WRC, Toyota Motorsport attempted to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Cologne factory was then directed towards the Formula-1 project. Andersson was appointed as the team principal of the new Formula-1 team, which debuted its first car in 2001. The Toyota TF101 was a test prototype for the upcoming season. The team's drivers were Mika Salo and Allan McNish. Andersson retired in 2003 and became a consultant for Toyota Motorsport GmbH.

Death

Andersson tragically died in a vintage car rally accident on June 11, 2008, near George, South Africa. In 2008, during the French Grand Prix, the Toyota cars featured black stripes as a tribute to him. Driver Jarno Trulli finished on the podium in that race and dedicated it to Andersson.

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