b 15/02/1951 (Helsinki).
Legendary flying Finn Markku Alèn passed his driving licence
at 18 in 1969. The following day, he finished second of his first ever
Ice Race (his father was a regular competitor in this typical Scandinavian
racing) and later in the year starts his first 1000 Lakes Rally on a Renault
8 Gordini. He continued racing in the popular Finnish Ice Racing Series
in 1970, becoming National Champion.
After a great progression in rallies in private Volvos and Fords, Markku
became a FIAT factory driver in 1974 and would remain with the Italian
team for 15 full years, thus earning the reputation of being the most Latin
of the Nordic drivers. In a 30+ year international career, Markku built
one of the greatest records of rallying history. He started 129 WRC events,
winning 20 of them and scoring 840 points. Despite this, he was never crowned
World Champion. He did win the 1978 FIA Drivers Cup (forerunner to the
Drivers World Chmpionship introduced in 1979) and can be considered as
the main factor in Lancia’s 1983 World Manufacturers title against the
mighty Audi team. He was in fact also World Champion for eleven days in
1986 after winning the Olympus Rally. But shortly after, the FISA decided
that the points of the San Remo Rally (which Markku had won) would not
be included into the WRC standings and handed the title to his arch-rival
After this rather controversial episode, Markku remained three more
years with Lancia, winning his last WRC event at the 1988 RAC Rally. He
then drove selected rallies with Subaru and Toyota, also doing a lot of
testing work for the two makes who used his skills to progressively become
two of the most successful makes of the 1990s. A big crash at the 1993
1000 Lakes Rally finally decided him to stop competing on a regular basis
in the WRC. Many were surprised when he then decided to try his hand at
Touring Cars through the famous DTM / ITC series. But it must be remembered
that during his Lancia years, Markku started a handful of World Sportscar
events (notably at Le Mans in 1980) and twice won the Giro d’Italia. However,
he could not benefit from a top-team car and had to be happy with Italian
privateer Giani Giudici’s Alfa's. Results were predictably disappointing,
and for the 1997-98 seasons he came back to his roots : Ice Racing via
the French “Andros Trophy”. Now at the wheel of a factory Opel, Markku
was one of the top performers of the series for two years, scoring several
After celebrating his 50th birthday in February 2001, Markku decided
to compete one more time in his home event, the 1000 Lakes Rally (of which
he is the best performer ever with 6 wins and 10 other podium finishes).
At the wheel of a private Ford Focus WRC, the veteran driver finished a
creditable 16th overall.
1971 - 3rd 1000 Lakes (Volvo 142).
1972 - 3rd 1000 Lakes (Volvo 142).
1973 - 2nd 1000 Lakes and Arctic (Volvo 142), 3rd RAC (Ford Escort
1974 - 1st Welsh (Ford Escort RS1600) , 2nd Press On Regardless, 3rd
1000 Lakes and Portugal (FIAT Abarth 124 Rallye).
1975 - 1st Portugal , 2nd Yugoslavia , 3rd Monte Carlo, 6th Sweden
(FIAT Abarth 124 Rallye).
1976 - 1st 1000 Lakes and Elba, 4th Tulip, 12th Morocco (FIAT Abarth
131 Rallye), 6th Monte Carlo (FIAT Abarth 124 Rallye).
1977 - 1st Portugal, 3rd New Zealand, 54th Monte Carlo (FIAT Abarth
1978 - FIA Rally Drivers Cup Champion : 3 wins (Portugal, 1000 Lakes
and Sanremo), 2nd Acropolis and Québec, 3rd Sweden (all on FIAT
Abarth 131 Rallye except San Remo on Lancia Stratos). Won the Giro d’Italia
with Giorgio Pianta (Lancia Stratos).
1979 - 3rd World Rally Championship : 1 win (1000 Lakes), 3rd Monte
Carlo and Safari, 4th Sweden, 6th San Remo (FIAT Abarth 131 Rallye), 5th
RAC (Lancia Stratos). DNF Vallelunga 6 Hours with Giorgio Pianta (Lancia
Corse Lancia Beta Montecarlo).
1980 - 6th World Rally Championship : 1 win (1000 Lakes), 2nd Portugal,
3rd Acropolis (FIAT Abarth 131 Rallye). Won Giro d’Italia with Riccardo
Patrese and DNF Le Mans 24 Hours with Pier-Carlo Ghinzani and Gian-Franco
Brancatelli (Lancia Corse Lancia Beta Montecarlo).
1981 - 4th World Rally Championship : 1 win (Portugal), 2nd 1000 Lakes
and Acropolis, 7th Monte Carlo, 9th San Remo (FIAT Abarth 131 Rallye).
1982 - World Rally Championship : 4th RAC ; 9th Tour de Corse (Lancia
Corse Lancia Rally 037). Won Pace National Rally, the first win for the
new Lancia Rally 037 Group B car.
1983 - 3rd World Rally Championship : 2 wins (Tour de Corse and San
Remo), 2nd Monte Carlo and Acropolis, 3rd 1000 Lakes, 4th Portugal, 5th
Argentina (Lancia Rally 037).
1984 - 3rd World Rally Championship : 1 win (Tour de Corse), 2nd Portugal,
New Zealand and 1000 Lakes, 3rd Acropolis, 4th Safari, 8th Monte Carlo
(Lancia Rally 037).
1985 - 7th World Rally Championship : 2nd RAC (Lancia Delta S4), 3rd
1000 Lakes, 4th San Remo (Lancia Rally 037).
1986 - 2nd World Rally Championship : 2 wins (San Remo and Olympus),
2nd Sweden, New Zealand, Argentina and RAC, 3rd Safari and 1000 Lakes (Lancia
Corse Lancia Delta S4).
1987 - 3rd World Rally Championship : 3 wins (Portugal, Acropolis and
1000 Lakes), 3rd Olympus, 5th Sweden and RAC (Lancia Corse Lancia Delta
1988 - 2nd World Rally Championship : 3 wins (Sweden, 1000 Lakes and
RAC), 4th Acropolis and San Remo, 6th Portugal (all in Lancia Corse Lancia
Delta Integrale except Sweden on HF 4WD). Won Costa Smeralda Rally (Lancia
1989 - World Rally Championship (Lancia Corse Lancia Delta Integrale)
: 2nd Portugal, 3rd Australia
1990 - World Rally Championship (Prodrive Subaru Legacy 4WD Turbo)
: 4th 1000 Lakes.
1991 - 7th World Rally Championship : 3rd Sweden, 4th New Zealand and
Australia, 5th Portugal (Prodrive Subaru Legacy 4WD Turbo).
1992 - 5th World Rally Championship : 3rd 1000 Lakes, 4th Sweden, Portugal
and RAC, 5th Safari (all on TTE Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD except Sweden on
1993 - 11th World Rally Championship : 2nd Safari (TTE Toyota Celica
Turbo 4WD), 4th Portugal (Prodrive Subaru Legacy 4WD Turbo).
1995 - 21st ITC (Giudici Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti) with 1 pt: 10th Helsinki.
1996 – n/c DTM and ITC (Giudici Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti).
1997 – 6th French Ice Racing (SNBE Opel Tigra V6) with 563 pts : 3rd
Isola 2000, won A2 Finals in Andorra and l’Alpe d’Huez. 11th Chamonix 24
Hours with Eric Hélary and Alain Cudini.
1998 - 4th French Ice Racing (SNBE Opel Tigra V6) with 557 pts : 2nd
Isola 2000; 3rd l’Alpe d’Huez and Super Besse.
2001 - 16th 1000 Lakes Rally (Ford Focus WRC).