Rauno Aaltonen pictured with the late Rosemary Smith.


Rauno Aaltonen, one of the original ‘Flying Finns’, the Finish drivers who dominated world rallying in the 1960’s, 70’s and into the ‘80s, will be the star guest at Déjà vu North West ’24 on the 26-27-28 April 2024.


Rauno started rally, like many Scandinavians, in Saab 93s bringing a new style of left-foot-braking and a new language of “yumps’, and “maximum attack” to the sport. But Rauno was nothing if not versatile behind the wheel as he won the Finish 1,000 Lakes Rally in an enormous Mercedes-Benz 2220 SE saloon in 1961.

However, it was in the minute BMC Minis that the man from Turku earned his place in the Rallying Hall of Fame. He joined the legendry trio of Timo Makinen and Paddy Hopkirk in the BMC Team in 1962 and was leading the Monte Carlo Rally when he rolled out in the dying stages.

The Minis made their mark on the ‘Monte’ when Paddy won in 1964 and Timo lead Rauno and Paddy across the line in 1965 before the French controversially threw out the three Cooper S’s on a technicality over their headlights.

1965 however was a good year for Rauno as he won seven rallies, enough to make him the European Rally Champion.

Rauno will be driving a Mini Cooper S, that is an exact replica of the works Minis rallied by the BMC Team in the 1960’s. The car owned by Dr. Beatty Crawford, the Déjà vu Motorsport co-founder, is a copy of Paddy Hopkirk’s winning 1964 Monte Carlo Rally car right down to the fag packet on the parcel shelf! Beatty who is a former Circuit of Ireland Rally winner, will be guiding the famous Finn over the Rally Ireland stages.

The Déjà vu North West ’24 run will start at the Sligo Retail Park at 9.30am. on Saturday 27th. April and finish in O’Connell’s Street Sligo at 4.00pm. that afternoon.


All the proceeds from Déjà vu North West ‘24 go to the bereaved families of Gene McDonald and Daire Maguire, the driver and co-driver who so tragically lost their lives on the Sligo Stages Rally on Sunday the 16th. July 2023.

And you will be able to support that appeal by buying a Souvenir Programme (€15.00) which will be on sale from the end of March at various outlets, at the start and finish of the Saturday run and at Sligo Airport on Sunday morning. You will also be able to buy it online at www.rpm-motorsport.com/tours.

Déjà vu North West ’24 is supported by FAAC Simply automatic, Sligo Pallets, Devaney Recovery Services, and SF Engineering and jointly organised by RPM Déjà vu Motorsport Ltd. and the Connacht Motor Club.

RPM Dèjà vu Motorsport contacts:
Alan (Plum) Tyndall 0044 7887827150 alan@rpm-motorsport.com
Alan Graham 0044 7802875808
Connacht Motor Club contact:
Robert Lyttle 00353 874184993 robertlyttle52@gmail.com