When Miikka Anttila crossed the Corsica linea - Tour de Corse start podium alongside Jari-Matti Latvala he became the most experienced competitor in WRC history.
It was his 197th championship start, lifting him ahead of double world champion Carlos Sainz, who reached 196 before his retirement in 2005. It wasn’t the celebration for which Anttila hoped as the pair retired their Toyota Yaris after a heavy impact with a tree.
The 45-year-old Finn made his WRC debut in 1999, guiding Janne Tuohino to eighth in Finland. He also partnered Mikko Hirvonen for a couple of WRC events before joining forces with Latvala in 2003.
They claimed their first victory in Sweden in 2008 and have added a further 16 wins since then, the most recent at the same snow and ice event last season.
We asked Anttila to list his three favourite memories during his 16 years with Latvala:
1. “The best moment was when we won our home event in Finland for the first time in 2010. The rally finished on a Saturday and the amount of people in the square for the prize giving ceremony was fantastic.”
2. “Next up was our first victory at Rally Sweden in 2008. It was only our second start with the full works Ford team and to win so soon was extraordinary.”
3. “At the end of 2007 we visited M-Sport’s headquarters after the last rally and Malcolm Wilson welcomed us to the works team. We had spent a couple of seasons driving with M-Sport for the Stobart team but this was our big step up.”
The rankings for driver and co-driver starts following Corsica is:
Corsica debrief: part 2
Reflections from 2018’s opening asphalt round
Corsica debrief: Part One
Looking back at the first all-asphalt rally of 2018