Tuthill Porsche was reunited with the Waldegård family earlier this month, when Mathias Waldegård, son of Björn, drove a Tuthill Porsche 911 Safari car on a Swedish rally in memory of his late father: the first ever World Rally Champion and a multiple winner of the East African Safari Rally.
MK Rimo organised the event, which took in many of the roads the great man had trained on. Ninety-one cars turned out in memory of Björn, including Jan Hagman’s Tuthill Porsche Safari 911, which Mathias used for the event. It was an emotional experience for Mathias, who had co-driven Tuthill Porsche 911s for his father over many thousands of kilometres but had never driven one personally up to this rally.
“This was the first time for me behind the wheel of a Tuthill Porsche,” said Mathias afterwards. “It was really great fun and the car was fantastic to drive. It was a very good weekend – I drove the whole rally with a huge smile on my face.”
Björn Waldegård passed away in August last year. Soon after Björn’s death, MK Rimo began planning a competition to honour his memory. The Björn Waldegård Minne was the result.
Björn Waldegård Minne
Organised by Roger Larsson and run as part of the 2015 Upplänska Rally championship, the entries were split into five categories, including four-wheel drive cars. Part of the proceeds from the rally were donated to the Swedish Cancer Society in memory of Björn. MK Rimo aims to make the Björn Waldegård Minne an annual event.
“Björn’s death came as a shock to us,” said Roger Larsson, MK Rimo President from 2001 to 2014. “He died as we were organising a rally that ran the next day, so we agreed that we would remember him properly when time allowed. It was very nice to get this competition together and run on the roads which Björn himself drove.”
Another man in a Porsche for the rally was Lars Nystrom, Waldegård’s co-driver from the earliest days. “This rally is a very good initiative and it is perfect to finish so close to Bjorn’s home,” said Lars.
With Safari Rally coming up later this year, we asked Mathias what the future holds for the Waldegård name on this great event, won so many times by his father. “It was great to take part in this special rally, but the future I know nothing about,” said Mathias. “I love Kenya and the Safari rally as much as my father did and I miss it for sure. I have received some offers to act as co-driver but declined. It would feel strange to co-drive someone other than my dad on Safari. If I get the opportunity to drive the East African Safari Rally some day it would be a dream come true.”
Thanks to Norrtelje Tidning for the photos used in this post