Catching up with Hannu Mikkola

Two-time Safari winner, Hannu Mikkola, has returned to Kenya for 2017, retracing his steps for a documentary film with the Safari-winning Audi 200 Quattro of 1987. We caught up with Hannu at Sarova Whitesands, where the Quattro was on display ahead of its appearances over the first two days of our 2017 edition.

Welcome back to Kenya, Hannu. How does it feel to be back here after all these years?

It’s really nice to be back in Kenya and I’m glad to know that people remember me.

What have you been up to since retiring from rallying?

Over the years I took up flying and I have been flying helicopters. This year at the Safari Classic I have a team with me and we will be making a nice film about the Audi. You know it was the first 4WD drive to win the Safari Rally during that time.

You are in great condition. How is your faithful Safari-winning companion: the 200 Quattro? 

The car has been at the museum and Audi has been taking care of it. We will not be rallying the Quattro because it’s not in the right condition and it will better to keep it one piece.

How do you feel about today’s rallying? Has it changed much over the years? 

Rally has changed so much, it’s a much more about racing. It’s not like how it was in the past when we had to fight all through many hurdles. We were using normal cars as opposed to the current cars that are purposely built.

What about being here for the Safari Classic? Does it bring back any memories?

It’s very nice that older guys of the 70s and 80s to have a chance to compete with old cars that are not expensive. This will also help to keep the memories alive and let the people continue to enjoy this type of rallying.

Finally, do you have any predictions for the 2017 Safari Classic Rally?

The rain will play a big part. If it rains the drivers will have a really hard time.