The first Finnish F1 racer Leo Juhani Kinnunen died Wednesday on 73-m to year of life.
Kinnunen started his career in motorcycle racing, called themselves the “flying Finn”. Later he successfully competed in rally, taking second place in the championship of Finland rally championship in 1967.
Since 1968, Kinnunen focused on the racing circuit, showing his skills in Formula 3 – where the Finn ahead of Ronnie Petersen, and the Rhine Visalla. With those results, he was soon called in to test a Porsche 917 in Austria so he became a factory rider of the team.
In the race Grand Prix Leo fell immediately, although they could take the place of the deceased Johanna Rindt. He refused this opportunity, as Bernie Ecclestone did not want to pay him.
In 1974, Kinnunen still came out at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix, being the first time behind the wheel of a private Surtees. The car was maintained by a team of five people, including riders. The car was heavy, the engine is weak, and in the end Finn so never got to the podium.
After several fruitless attempts in the Big Prizes Kinnunen returned to Porsche to compete in sports cars, but three years later ended his career.
It should be noted that Finn was the last racer, speaking in an open helmet and goggles. Besides, he was known to have refused to learn the English language at the appropriate level.
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