He married his sometime co-driver Yvonne Pratt in 1978 after a ten year courtship, and they had one son, Vijay, in 1991.
Through the most successful period of his career he drove Datsun cars. He won the inaugural African Rally Championship in 1981, and the Cyprus Rally in 1976. He was on the podium at the 1981 Rally Codasur, twice at the Acropolis Rally and three times at the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire. His career came to an end in 1987 after a nearly fatal crash at Rallye des Pharaons, Egypt while driving for Peugeot.
After his driving days were over he held various administrative positions at the FIA. He became president of the FIA Rally commission in 1997, and was re-appointed as interim President of the World Rally Championship commission shortly before his death. He died in London on April 12 2006 from liver problems, hepatitis, and illness relating to complications from an old injury.
Rallying: The Making of Master Makinen World Rally Championship Showdown: Flying Finn on Record- Breaking Run in Pursuit of Third Title
Aug 26, 1998; TOMMI MAKINEN is in his prime as a rally driver. Last weekend he won the Rally of Finland, the fastest event on the world...