Ove Andersson, the former principal of the Toyota Formula 1 team, has died after being involved in an accident during a classic rally.

The Swede, who led Toyota into F1 in 2002 before retiring the following year to work as a consultant to the team, was competing in the Milligan Vintage Trial when he was involved in a head-on collision after taking a blind bend.

During a highly successful career as a driver, the 70-year-old triumphed in the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally alongside co-driver David Stone in an Alpine-Renault A110, amongst other high-profile victories.

Andersson then played a major part in the creation of Toyota Team Europe, which grew out of his own Andersson Motorsport squad and later became Toyota Motorsports GmbH.

Andersson helped lead Toyota to multiple titles in the World Rally Championship and second place in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1999 before the Japanese manufacturer turned its attention to F1 - debuting in 2002 with Allan McNish and Mika Salo.

"Everyone at Toyota is extremely shocked and truly saddened at this terrible news," chairman of Toyota Motorsport Tadashi Yamashina said. "Ove was an inspiration to our team and to many in motorsport. His passion for motorsport was legendary and he is a great loss to our sport.

"The thoughts of everyone at Toyota Motorsport are with Ove's family at this difficult time."

Crash.net extends its deepest sympathies to
Ove Andersson's family and friends.

 

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