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One of the most famous pictures in rallying shows an unknown Finnish driver, Jussi Kynsilehto, launching a Ford Escort Mk1 during the 1975 1000 Lakes Rally. RallySport Magazine's Martin Holmes was the co-driver ...... * * * * * Spectators reported that the car, an Escort RS1600 previously used by Timo Makinen to win the RAC Rally, flew at 2.3 metres high! This was a jump that was never intended to happen. Kynsilehto had the chance to drive this car but had no time to make any practice. Ford Finland promised him the use of Timo Makinen's own notes, but they never told Timo. After considerable pushing Timo's co-driver, the late Henry Liddon, grudgingly let Kynsilehto's co-driver have the notes to copy and return.

All was going well for Jussi Kynsilehto until the Escort landed.

Things went well on the rally for Kynsilehto for a long time. He came up into the top 10, but then followed the jump. There was a series of three jumps and the co-driver read them out as written. Unfortunately not all the jumps were noted and what the notes said was a slight jump was enormous. Afterwards there was much debate about how it happened. I was the co-driver and was in line for the blame. "They are exactly what Timo wanted," Henry explained. "What you didn't realise was that Timo never wants to be told the obvious things, only the tricky things. It is no surprise you crashed if you didn't know that!"

Kynsilehto and Holmes extract themselves from the stricken Escort.

I guess if all had gone well we would have finished eighth or ninth, in obscurity. But thanks to Timo Makinen's style of pacenoting, Kynsilehto became a Finnish folk hero!

Years after the crash, Jussi Kynsilehto looks back at moment in rallying history. Photo: Jarmo Kontiainen

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