Leo Kinnunen

Former Grand Prix driver Leo Kinnunen is celebrating his 69th birthday today.

Born in Finland, Kinnunen raced successfully for several years in his homeland in Volvos, Porsches and a Formula 3 Titan before he was a surprise selection to partner Pedro Rodriguez in the Gulf/Wyer sports car team for 1970. The pair won at Daytona, Brands Hath, Monza and Watkins Glen.

Leo Kinnunen, 1974He then went on to dominate the Interserie racing scene with a Porsche 917 Spyder with backing from AAW-Finland, the concern that also supported his unhappy foray into Formula 1 racing in 1974 with a rented Surtees.

In six outings, he qualified just once, at the Swedish Grand Prix. He retired with an electrical failure.

After this, Kinnunen returned to sports car and GT racing, competing in Porsches until the end of the 1970s.

[Images via Forix, F1 Nostalgia and F1 Rejects]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.