Ove Andersson, a successful rally driver and an instrumental part of founding the Toyota Team Europe, has died in a car crash aged 70 whilst taking part in a classic car rally near Oudtsthoorn.
Andersson was driving a 1957 Volvo P444 in the Continental Milligan Vintage Trial and was killed instantly when he was involved in a head-on collision with a minibus taxi. The car s owner and co-driver Tubby Bennett was also injured in the accident and remains in hospital under observation. Andersson leaves a wife, Marion bell-Andersson, two sons and a daughter.
Andersson was born on 3 January 1938 in Uppsala, Sweden. His rally career was peppered with success with his most notable victories being the 1975 Safari Rally with co-driver Arne Hertz, the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally, and also the San Remo, Austrian Alpine and Acropolis rallies.
When Toyota decided to launch it s rally programme in 1973, the singled out the management skills and driving expertise of Andersson. Under Andersson s direction, the TTE (Toyota Team Europe) became one of the dominant teams in world championship rallying during the 1990s.
Toyota was soon renamed Toyota Motorsport GmbH with Andersson helping their efforts in the 98 and 99 Le Mans 24 race. Andersson then helped lead Panasonic Toyota Racing into Formula 1 in 2002 before retiring as Team Principal to become a consultant to the team.
Tadashi Yamashina, Chairman of Toyota Motorsport GmbH has said, “Everyone at Toyota is extremely shocked and truly saddened at this terrible news. Ove was an inspiration to our team and to many in motorsport. His passion for motor sport 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.”