Ari Vatanen mainostoimisto Avalon
Ari Vatanen
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“Moi, nyt kun Mikko Hirvonen ajoi Dakarissa etappivoittoon eilen niin sinulla taitaa olla nimissä sitä ennen viimeinen Dakarin etappivoitto. Mutta en mistään...”
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Written by: myllis
16.01.2016 klo 15:09

I thought I had retired from rally driving at the end of 1998, as I was preparing for the 1999 EU-elections. It turned out otherwise; I participated in the Dakar with Nissan in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and with VW in 2007. The career in politics brought e-mail to my life - I'm certainly no nerd - and much to my surprise I started receiving rally related messages from all over the world. They hadn't forgotten me!

These messages often had a personal link with me; "I've pushed your car back on the road from a ditch in Portugal" (plenty of memories like this), "I sat next to you on the plane back from Dakar" etc. Our paths in life have joined for a passing moment. The messages are often evocative and warm. I was surprised how a fleeting moment can have so inspired people that they take me back to it decades later. Those that I've mistreated probably remember me just as well, only they don't write to me!

These messages have strengthened my belief in the importance of human encounters - we should focus on the things that bring us together. We may differ in colour, background, wealth and religion, but it does not matter. As a human being nobody is more worthy than the next man. The rally family is huge and rich in colour. From the King of Jordan to the shoeless boy in Timbuktu, who follows the passing Dakar caravan with gleaming eyes. Dreams give us strength and make anything possible. This unique rally of human life is not meant to be tackled freewheeling, but in full opposite-lock slide! I hope this website could help lift us from the ordinary, for a few moments at least.

Read more from Ari's personal website:


- - vaakuna.gif"This idea came when we lived in England in a house named ‘Seawards'. Rita designed the figure of a sailing boat where the sails are formed by letters A and R, referring to our first names. The keel is in the shape of V with a heart inside. Like a heavy keel keeps the boat from capsizing, love stabilizes us in the storms of life."

Ari has commented the following rallies: