Ove Andersson

Ove Andersson
Ove Andersson

Ove Andersson at the Monaco Grand Prix 2002
Personal information
Nationality Sweden Swedish
Born 3 January 1938(1938-01-03)
Died 11 June 2008(2008-06-11) (aged 70)
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1973 – 1982
Teams Toyota, Toyota Team Europe
Rallies 28
Championships 0
Rally wins 1
Podiums 7
Stage wins 20
Total points 32
First rally 1973 Monte Carlo Rally
First win 1975 Safari Rally
Last rally 1982 Rallye Côte d'Ivoire

Ove Andersson (3 January 1938 – 11 June 2008) was a Swedish rally driver and the first head of Toyota's F1 program. His nickname was "Påven" ("the Pope").


Early life

Andersson was born in Uppsala and grew up on a remote farm. His father bought a 98cc motorbike, and Andersson said this was where he first fell in love with speed and machinery. He went on to begin studying engineering in Uppsala, and also began marshalling ice races. He dropped his engineering course and began working as an apprentice to a blacksmith in the city. He then went on to work in a car repair shop, the owner of which encoruaged Ove to begin racing after showing him his skills with a motorbike.[1]

In 1958, Andersson completed his military service with the UN peace keeping force on the Gaza Strip. During this service he survived typhoid and a fire. Upon returning home he attempted to rejoin the UN but with little success. A friend encouraged him to join him on a rally, on which the pairing finished in 6th place. Local rally drivers saw that he had potential, but as Ove had little money he could not afford to race. His friend Bengt Soderstrom became a Saab factory rally driver, and Andersson was able to borrow parts to make his car more competitive. The UN eventually offered him the opportunity to serve in the Congo, but he turned it down to concentrate on his rallying career [1][2]

Rallying career

Andersson at the 1965 1000 Lakes

In 1963, Andersson raced for the first time as a works driver at the Swedish Rally in a Mini. He impressed the team boss, Stuart Taylor, for him to be given a Mini Cooper S for the RAC rally. He went on to race for Saab in 1964 and 1965 but he felt he was in the shadow of Erik Carlsson whom Andersson believed was given better machinery by Saab. In 1965 he raced the first three rounds of the championship with Lancia, finishing 3rd in all of them. He also drove in the Swedish Rally Championship, and won the Swedish World Rally in a Lotus Cortina. In 1967, he won the Monte Carlo Rally with Lancia.[1]

Despite being signed to Ford for 1968, Andersson competed in Daytona 24 hours with Lancia and also on the Monte Carlo Rally. At the end of the 1970 season, he was approached by Alpine who he began to race for in 1971. Andersson won the Monte Carlo Rally, Rallye Sanremo, Österreichische Alpenfahrt and Acropolis Rally with an Alpine A110, taking Alpine-Renault to the International Championship for Manufacturers title. In 1972, he came second on the Monte Carlo rally with Jean Todt as his co-driver. After the inauguration of the World Rally Championship in 1973, Andersson, driving mainly a Toyota Celica, achieved seven podium places in his 28 outings in the series and won the 1975 Safari Rally in a Peugeot 504, co-driven by Arne Hertz.

WRC victories

 #  Event Season Co-driver Car
1 Kenya 23rd Safari Rally 1975 Arne Hertz Peugeot 504

Toyota Team Europe

In the early 1970s, Andersson was also the owner of his own rally team Andersson Motorsport,[3] which later became the Toyota Team Europe. In 1979 he moved the team from Uppsala to Cologne, Germany where operations were based for an assault on the World Rally Championship.

TTE did not have regular rally victories until the 1980s with Juha Kankkunen and Björn Waldegård. The 1990s provided the bulk of success in World Rally for TTE, with Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol providing success for the team. In 1993, Toyota Team Europe was purchased by the Toyota Motor Company and renamed Toyota Motorsport GmbH. For the 1995 TTE was famously banned for 12 months [4] from the WRC for cheating by designing a [5] on the ST205 that included both a bypass mechanism and spring-loaded devices to conceal it from scrutineers.[6]

In addition to the World Rally exploits of Toyota Motorsport, the team attempted to win the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race. The team created the Toyota GT One race car, which was entered into the 1998 and 1999 races achieving a best result of second place.

Afterwards, the Cologne factory was sent into overdrive for a Formula One project. Andersson was set to oversee the new team, which designed and produced its first car in 2001. The Toyota TF101 was only a test prototype car to be used around the world before Toyota launched a formal attack on F1. It was driven by Mika Salo and Allan McNish who would also drive the car in its first competitive season, 2002. In charge for the troublesome first few years, Andersson retired in 2003 but was retained as a consultant to Toyota Motorsport GmbH.[7]


The Toyota F1 team paid tribute to Andersson at the 2008 French Grand Prix.

Andersson died in a vintage rally crash on 11 June 2008 near George, South Africa.[8]

The Toyota F1 Team paid tribute to Andersson in a variety of ways. Toyota Motorsport GmbH boss at the time Tadashi Yamashina said he was shocked and saddened by the news,[9] while at the 2008 French Grand Prix, both Toyota's ran black stripes on the car. Jarno Trulli scored a podium finish at the event, and he dedicated it to Andersson.


  1. ^ a b c "Ove Andersson 1938-2008". Grandprix.com. 2008-06-11. http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns20456.html. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  2. ^ Alan Henry. "Ove Andersson Obituary". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/jun/12/rallying.ove.andersson. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  3. ^ "Ove Andersson Profile". Grandprix.com. 2007-03-10. http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/cref-andove.html. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  4. ^ Marcus Bond. "TTE Ban". Freespace.virgin.net. http://freespace.virgin.net/shalco.com/tte_ban.htm. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  5. ^ "illegal air restrictor Illegal Air Restrictor". Forums.autosport.com. http://forums.autosport.com/showthread.php?threadid=90222. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  6. ^ "Autosport". Forums.autosport.com. http://forums.autosport.com/showthread.php?threadid=90222. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  7. ^ GrandPrix.com - "Andersson aims for big step forward" http://xserve2.com/ns/ns12373.html
  8. ^ "Ove Andersson killed in rally crash". Autosport. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/68204. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  9. ^ "Toyota Mourn Andersson's death". Formula1.com. 2008-06-11. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/6/7916.html. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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