Jarmo Lehtinen
Date of birth: 3 January 1969
Lives: Lahti, Finland
Marital status: Married to Tanja
First rally: 1988
First world rally: 1997 Rally Finland

Jarmo Lehtinen cannot remember when rallying was not a feature in his life. His father took a young Jarmo and friend Jari Mi
kkola to rallies almost as soon as they were old enough to walk. They became addicted to the sport and spent every spare mom
ent spectating and dreaming of the day when they would be old enough to compete. So it was no surprise when in 1988 Mikkola
asked Lehtinen if he wanted to co–drive his first rally car – a Ford Escort.

Both were surprised to find themselves leading their first event as they went into the last stage before a roll dropped them
to 10th overall, but they still won their class. They moved up to the Finnish Junior Championship in 1989 in their trusty Es
cort and moved to an Ascona for the 1990 season. In 1991 and 1992, the pair concentrated on the Group F Cup, which consisted
of national rallies. Without financial backing, they ran the car on a tiny budget and obtained good results.

At the age of 24, Lehtinen was drafted into the Army for one year of compulsory training. Luckily he was posted to the car
division with responsibility for logistics, which allowed him to develop the skills learned as a co–driver. After com
pleting his training, an advertisement in his local newspaper caught his eye. It was seeking interest in a newly establishe
d Rally Coaching School for co–drivers. Lehtinen applied and was one of only six people chosen to participate. His re
putation as a co–driver grew and he assisted a number of drivers for the remainder of that year and in 1996.

His partnership with Marko Ramanen in a Group N Honda Civic started a three–year affiliation that saw them take on t
he Finnish Championship in 1997. Despite leading their Group N class for most of the year they finished second – bea
ten by just one second on the last stage of the last round.

The following year they finished fourth in their Group A class in the Finnish Championship and also tackled the Rally of G
reat Britain. Their WRC outing saw them lead the S1600 class on the first day before dropping to the bottom of their class
with a broken driveshaft. The duo put up a great fight to climb to third, only to retire on the penultimate stage with gear
box problems.

In 1999 Lehtinen partnered Ramanen in the British Championship and accompanied Jouni Ampuja to sixth in Group N in the Fin
nish Championship. The partnership with Ampuja extended into the following two seasons and they finished second in Group N
in the 2001 Finnish Championship.

Lehtinen began 2002 with Ampuja, again competing in the Finnish Championship, but he had also met Mikko Hirvonen who had se
t himself such a busy development programme that he needed two co–drivers. They joined forces for international even
ts and Lehtinen also took up a new role in the gravel crew for Skoda driver Toni Gardemeister on the world championship. H
e worked on every event from the Safari Rally, gaining a valuable insight into the championship rallies.

Since 2003 Lehtinen has partnered Hirvonen on all his WRC outings – at Ford in 2003, at Subaru in 2004 as a priv
ately–entered driver in 2005 and with BP–Ford in 2006 and 2007.

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