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Ex-F1 boss dies in SA rally

2008-06-12 06:59

An international motorsport, and in particular rally legend, Ove Andersson (70), has been killed on Wednesday morning whilst participating in the Milligan Vintage Car Rally.

Details of the accident are unclear, but it would appear that a head-on collision took place 30km outside of Outshoorn to George when an oncoming vehicle veered into their lane.

It is believed that Andersson died on the scene of the accident.  His navigator, Tubby Bennet, who is well-known in South African motorsport Circles, is in the George Medi-Clinic with a broken leg, spinal and head injuries. They were driving in a red 1957 Volvo 444.

Bennet's wife, Gwen, said they were staying with Anderson and Ronel Dahms, also a renowned former Rally competitor, who recently opened a guest lodge in George.  "Tubby is obviously in shock about Ove's death, but his condition is stable".

At the Total International Rally, where Andersson was the guest speaker hardly two weeks ago, he said he fell in love with South Africa after participating here for the first time and therefore his decision to retire in George.  At this prestigious prize-giving he said Motorsport in South Africa is "alive and well".

Chris Andrew, President of Motorsport South Africa's Historic Motorsport Commission, said today's leg of the 4-day event has been cancelled.  "The loss of Ove is a great tragedy for motorsport".

Andersson was born in Dannemore, Sweden on 3 January 1938.  He has had many achievements in motorsport in his lifetime. In 1963, driving for Lancia, he finished 3rd in Monte Carlo and in San Remo.  In 1967 he came 2nd in the Monte Carlo and in the Acropolis Rally.  A year later he came 2nd in the Tulip Rally driving a Ford Escort.

In 1971 his big break came when he won four rounds of the World Rally Championship, driving for Renault Alpine.  He started rallying for Toyota in 1972 and he would spend the rest of his career with the Japanese firm.

In 1973 he came 2nd in Monte Carlo and 3rd in the Safari Rally.  In 1973 he created Toyota Team Europe and in 1975 came 1st in the Safari Rally and 3rd in Portugal.  In 1976 he came 2nd in Portugal and 5th in the African Rally Championship.  The years 1977 to 1979 saw him in 3rd and 4th place in Portugal.

Andersson also managed the Toyota Formula One Team, which made its debut in 2002.

He moved to South Africa late last year.

Roger Pearce, chairman of (MSA) Motorsport South African and the company's Managing Director, Beaulah Schoeman, has expressed their condolences to the family and friends of Mr Andersson.  "It is indeed a tragic loss for motorsport in its entirety said Pearce.

The organisers of the Milligan Vintage Trial have expressed their condolences in their blog. To read it follow this link:
http://wheelsblogs.24.com/ViewBlog.aspx?blogid=ac089d81-378c-4061-a535-cd18575f1c01

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