Mika Salo

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Mika Salo
Mika Salo Le Mans 2009 cropped.jpg
Mika Salo in 2009
Born (1966-11-30) 30 November 1966 (age 47)
Helsinki, Finland
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Finland Finnish
Active years 19942000, 2002
Teams Lotus, Tyrrell, Arrows, BAR, Ferrari, Sauber, Toyota
Races 111 (109 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 2
Career points 33
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1994 Japanese Grand Prix
Last race 2002 Japanese Grand Prix

Mika Juhani Salo (born 30 November 1966 in Helsinki) is a Finnish racing driver. He competed in Formula One between 1994 and 2002. His best ranking was 10th in the world championship in 1999. He also won the GT2 class in the 2008 and 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Career[edit]

Formula Three and Japanese racing[edit]

In 1989, Salo competed in the British Formula Three Championship, racing for Alan Docking Racing. He raced with the Reynard Toyota package which was not the season's best. Staying with Alan Docking Racing for 1990 and moving to a more competitive Ralt chassis, he raced against countryman and fierce rival Mika Häkkinen in Formula Three, finishing second to him. In 1990, Salo was caught driving under the influence in London.[1] Subsequently the chance of him gaining a FIA Super Licence necessary to compete in Formula One was destroyed in the short-term. He then moved to Japan in an attempt to revive his damaged reputation.

Formula One[edit]

1994–1998: Lotus, Tyrrell and Arrows[edit]

"I think it was six days before the race they said, 'Do you think you can drive it next weekend with no testing'. I'd never driven a Formula One car before in my life; that's what I've always wanted, so I said yes. I know the circuit so I don't think it's a problem. The next two nights I lay in my bed smiling, so happy it was happening."

Salo commenting on his first race for Lotus.[2]

After a few years racing in Japan he made his first Formula One start at the penultimate round of the 1994 season in Japan for the ailing Lotus team. He was kept on for the season's finale in Australia. Following the collapse of Lotus following the end of the season, Salo moved to Tyrrell for 1995. He was to spend three years with the team, scoring points several times. In the 1997 Monaco Grand Prix he completed the whole (rain-shortened and -slowed) race without refuelling, taking fifth place ahead of the faster Giancarlo Fisichella as a result.[3] Despite a promising 1998 with Arrows, he had no full-time drive in 1999.

1999: British American Racing and Ferrari[edit]

Salo driving for Tyrrell at the 1995 British Grand Prix.
Salo testing for Ferrari at Monza in 1999.

Following an injury to BAR driver Ricardo Zonta, Salo took his place for three races whilst the Brazilian recovered. However a greater opportunity arose when Michael Schumacher broke his leg in a crash during the 1999 British Grand Prix. Salo was selected as his substitute to partner Eddie Irvine at Ferrari. In his second race in Ferrari at the 1999 German Grand Prix Salo led for part of the race and would have scored a Grand Prix win but team orders demanded that he give the lead to Irvine, who at the time was fighting for the championship with Mika Häkkinen.[4] Following the race, Irvine handed his victory trophy over to Salo as a gesture of gratitude. He also finished third at Monza, ahead of Irvine.

2000–2002: Sauber and Toyota[edit]

Salo was back full-time in 2000 with Sauber, taking 11th in the championship, although he left the team at the end of the season to join the new Toyota team in preparation for its Formula One entry in 2002. He scored two points for Toyota in their first season, becoming the first driver since JJ Lehto at the 1993 South African Grand Prix to score points on a team's debut by finishing sixth at the 2002 Australian Grand Prix. He retired from Formula One at the end of 2002, after surprisingly getting fired from Toyota.

During his Formula One career, he achieved two podiums, and scored a total of 33 championship points.

Post-Formula One[edit]

His first post-Formula One race came at the 2003 12 Hours of Sebring, driving the UK-entered Audi R8, the same car he was due to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans if it had not run out of fuel already after the first hour. He raced in four CART races for PK Racing during the same year, his best finish being third in Miami in his second series start.

Because of his strong links with Ferrari he was picked up to be part of the development program of the Maserati MC12 GT racer. He made his FIA GT debut in 2004, narrowly losing the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in a Ferrari 575. After that he entered the last four races of the season in the Maserati, winning two races and finishing second once.[citation needed]

2005 was a year somewhat lost in the doldrums with only two participations with the Maserati MC12 in the ALMS GTS-class, a competition where the car turned out to be not even half as competitive as in the FIA GT series.

For 2006, Salo returned to racing full-time, signing with AF Corse in the FIA GT to drive the Ferrari F430 and later on in the year with Risi Competizione in the ALMS. He was victorious in class in the 24 Hours of Spa and finished third in the FIA GT2 Drivers' Championship with 61 points, while his efforts in the ALMS contributed to Risi's Teams' Championship cup. In the following year he continued with Risi Competizione in the ALMS and took the GT2 class honours in the 12 Hours of Sebring and the championship along with teammate Jaime Melo. They won a total of eight races out of twelve in the class. In addition, he won the RAC Tourist Trophy with Thomas Biagi when substituting for Michael Bartels, driving a Maserati MC12 once more.

Salo and Melo with Risi Competizione earned the first team At-Large honours on the 2007 All-American Racing Team, as voted for by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters (AARWBA).[5] Salo raced again in the ALMS for Risi Competizione in 2008. Although he was not successful in defending his previous year's titles, he won the GT2 class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, coming in 18th overall.

In 2009, he joined the Risi Ferrari team at the blue-riband races only, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Petit Le Mans event, winning all three of them. Having won these enduro races all more than once, Salo felt he was ready for a new challenge. He set his mind on NASCAR, and had his first test with Michael Waltrip Racing at the half-mile New Smyrna Speedway in November 2009.[6]

In 2012 Salo competed in the Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercar championship event with co-driver Will Davison. The pair won the second of the races and Salo performed well as one of the best international drivers against more experienced regular local drivers.

In 2014, driving for Maranello Motorsport, Salo co-drove a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 to victory at the Bathurst 12 Hour alongside Australian motor racing legends Craig Lowndes and John Bowe, and another local Australian driver Peter Edwards.

Controversy[edit]

While driving in British F3, Salo was convicted of drunk driving.[7]

Salo is a supporter of the Hells Angels. He claims to have friends in the Hells Angels and has a tattoo of "Big Red Machine 81 Support Finland".[8]

Personal[edit]

He currently resides in Estonia and he has two children with wife Noriko Salo (Endo), son Max and daughter Mai. His godson Jesse Krohn competes in Formula Renault, both in Scandinavia and the UK. Mika and Noriko divorced in 2014, after 15 years of marriage.

Like fellow Finns Keke Rosberg and JJ Lehto, both former Formula One drivers, Salo has commentated on several F1 races on MTV3 and the pay-channel MTV3 MAX. During the controversial 2005 United States Grand Prix, he walked out of the commentator's booth in mid-race after the Michelin teams refused to race.

He has rejoined the MTV3 F1 report crew for the 2011 season, providing expert commentary on races thus replacing Erkki Mustakari as Oskari Saari's co-commentator.

Helmet[edit]

Salo's helmet was originally dark blue with a white halo on the top (with a red line inside), 2 white stripes (with a red line inside) going from the rear going down diagonally to the sides of the helmet and a white trapezoidal shape on the chin area (with blue outline), slightly based on Prost's helmet. When he raced in Formula One, he changed the helmet from dark blue to sky blue with the rest of the elements intact.

Racing record[edit]

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1994 Team Lotus Lotus 109 Mugen Honda V10 BRA
PAC
SMR
MON
ESP
CAN
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
POR
EUR
JPN
10
AUS
Ret
NC 0
1995 Nokia Tyrrell Yamaha Tyrrell 023 Yamaha V10 BRA
7
ARG
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
10
MON
Ret
CAN
7
FRA
15
GBR
8
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
8
ITA
5
POR
13
EUR
10
PAC
12
JPN
6
AUS
5
15th 5
1996 Tyrrell Yamaha Tyrrell 024 Yamaha V10 AUS
6
BRA
5
ARG
Ret
EUR
DSQ
SMR
Ret
MON
5
ESP
DSQ
CAN
Ret
FRA
10
GBR
7
GER
9
HUN
Ret
BEL
7
ITA
Ret
POR
11
JPN
Ret
13th 5
1997 Tyrrell Tyrrell 025 Ford V8 AUS
Ret
BRA
13
ARG
8
SMR
9
MON
5
ESP
Ret
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
13
BEL
11
ITA
Ret
AUT
Ret
LUX
10
JPN
Ret
EUR
12
17th 2
1998 Danka Zepter Arrows Arrows A19 Arrows V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
Ret
ARG
Ret
SMR
9
ESP
Ret
MON
4
CAN
Ret
FRA
13
GBR
Ret
AUT
Ret
GER
14
HUN
Ret
BEL
DNS
ITA
Ret
LUX
14
JPN
Ret
13th 3
1999 British American Racing BAR 01 Supertec V10 AUS
BRA
SMR
7
MON
Ret
ESP
8
CAN
FRA
GBR
10th 10
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F399 Ferrari V10 AUT
9
GER
2
HUN
12
BEL
7
ITA
3
EUR
Ret
MAL
JPN
2000 Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber C19 Petronas V10 AUS
DSQ
BRA
DNS
SMR
6
GBR
8
ESP
7
EUR
Ret
MON
5
CAN
Ret
FRA
10
AUT
6
GER
5
HUN
10
BEL
9
ITA
7
USA
Ret
JPN
10
MAL
8
11th 6
2002 Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF102 Toyota V10 AUS
6
MAL
12
BRA
6
SMR
Ret
ESP
9
AUT
8
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
EUR
Ret
GBR
Ret
FRA
Ret
GER
9
HUN
15
BEL
7
ITA
11
USA
14
JPN
8
17th 2

Complete CART results[edit]

(key)

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2003 PK Racing STP
 
MTY
 
LBH
 
BRH
 
LAU
 
MIL
 
LS
 
POR
 
CLE
 
TOR
 
VAN
 
ROA
 
MDO
 
MTL
 
DEN
14
MIA
3
MXC
5
SRF
11
FON
C †
16th 26

† Cancelled due to California Fires

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2003 United Kingdom Audi Sport UK
United Kingdom Arena Motorsport
Germany Frank Biela
United Kingdom Perry McCarthy
Audi R8 LMP900 28 DNF DNF
2007 United States Risi Competizione United Kingdom Johnny Mowlem
Brazil Jaime Melo
Ferrari F430 GT2 GT2 223 DNF DNF
2008 United States Risi Competizione Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Brazil Jaime Melo
Ferrari F430 GT2 GT2 326 19th 1st
2009 United States Risi Competizione Brazil Jaime Melo
Germany Pierre Kaffer
Ferrari F430 GT2 GT2 329 18th 1st
2010 Italy AF Corse Argentina Luís Pérez Companc
Argentina Matías Russo
Ferrari F430 GT2 GT2 0 DNS DNS
2014 Russia SMP Racing Russia Sergey Zlobin
Russia Anton Ladygin
Oreca 03R-Nissan LMP2 303 37th 12th

Complete GT1 World Championship results[edit]

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pos Points
2010 Mad-Croc Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6.R ABU
QR

Ret
ABU
CR

15
SIL
QR
SIL
CR
BRN
QR

19
BRN
CR

12
PRI
QR
PRI
CR
SPA
QR
SPA
CR
NÜR
QR

15
NÜR
CR

23
ALG
QR
ALG
CR
NAV
QR
NAV
CR
INT
QR
INT
CR
SAN
QR
SAN
CR
52nd 0

Complete V8 Supercar results[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Final Pos Points
2010 Bundaberg Red Racing YMC
R1

YMC
R2

BHR
R3

BHR
R4

ADE
R5

ADE
R6

HAM
R7

HAM
R8

QLD
R9

QLD
R10

WIN
R11

WIN
R12

HDV
R13

HDV
R14

TOW
R15

TOW
R16

PHI
Q

PHI
R17

BAT
R18

SUR
R19

Ret
SUR
R20

Ret
SYM
R21

SYM
R22

SAN
R23

SAN
R24

SYD
R25

SYD
R26

NC 0 +
2011 Ford Performance Racing YMC
R1

YMC
R2

ADE
R3

ADE
R4

HAM
R5

HAM
R6

PER
R7

PER
R8

PER
R9

WIN
R10

WIN
R11

HDV
R12

HDV
R13

TOW
R14

TOW
R15

QLD
R16

QLD
R17

QLD
R18

PHI
Q

PHI
R19

BAT
R20

SUR
R21

2
SUR
R22

14
SYM
R23

SYM
R24

SAN
R25

SAN
R26

SYD
R27

SYD
R28

52nd 201
2012 Ford Performance Racing ADE
R1

ADE
R2

SYM
R3

SYM
R4

HAM
R5

HAM
R6

PER
R7

PER
R8

PER
R9

PHI
R10

PHI
R11

HDV
R12

HDV
R13

TOW
R14

TOW
R15

QLD
R16

QLD
R17

SMP
R18

SMP
R19

SAN
Q

SAN
R20

BAT
R21

SUR
R22

18
SUR
R23

1
YMC
R24

YMC
R25

YMC
R26

WIN
R27

WIN
R28

SYD
R29

SYD
R30

NC 0 †

† Not Eligible for points

Complete International Superstars Series results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DC Points
2012 Swiss Team Maserati Quattroporte MNZ
R1

6
MNZ
R2

16
IMO
R1

IMO
R2

DON
R1

DON
R2

MUG
R1

MUG
R2

HUN
R1

HUN
R2

SPA
R1

5
SPA
R2

3
VAL
R1

VAL
R2

PER
R1

PER
R2

19th 30

* Season in progress.

Complete FIA World Endurance Championship results[edit]

Year Entrant Class Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Rank Points
2014 SMP Racing LMP2 Oreca 03R Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8 SIL SPA LMS
1
COA FUJ SHA BHR SÃO 4th* 50*

* Season in progress.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mika Salo". MTV3. Retrieved 2008-09-22.  (Finnish)
  2. ^ FIA Formula 1 World Championship – 1995 Season Review (VHS). Duke Video. 1995-12-11. Event occurs at 13:00–14:00. EAN-13 5 017559 034955. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  3. ^ "Salo, Mika | Formula 1 complete - all access F1". F1complete.com. 1966-11-30. Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  4. ^ 1999 German Grand Prix www.grandprix.com Retrieved June 21, 2007
  5. ^ NHRA News: AARWBA All-America team includes new champs, Anderson, others (12/8/2007)[dead link]
  6. ^ "Salo relishing NASCAR chance (17/11/2009)". Autosport.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  7. ^ http://suomenkuvalehti.fi/jutut/kulttuuri/mika-salo
  8. ^ http://www.verkkouutiset.fi/kotimaa/mika%20salo%20tom%20packalen-8214