Ari Vatanen mainostoimisto Avalon

Bruno Berglund

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Bruno Berglund


Sweden's Bruno Berglund already had a distinguished career behind him before joining Ari Vatanen. He'd had notable successes with his countrymen Anders Kulläng and Stig Blomqvist, although he only managed to snatch one world level victory. That came with Kulläng in the 1980 Swedish Rally.

"Bruno was really great on both special stage rallies and desert raids. He's a great navigator and has a knack for thinking on his feet. During recce periods he was always looking for short-cuts to get back to the start of the stage as quickly as possible. Sometimes we ended up in cul-de-sac!

He could be a real Sherlock Holmes, too. Once in Finland, taking some obscure short-cut small road on our way back to the stage start, he said: ‘There's just been a horse through here, followed by a child pushing a bicycle.' And would you believe, he was right! He had his radar working full time so he knew to warn the driver about hazards.

Twice in the desert I was sure we were finished with the Paris-Dakar. Once the front suspension collapsed and the whole wheel came apart. Bruno started fiddling around with it and in five minutes the wheel was back on and pointing in the right direction. Another time the car was on fire after a fuel filler cap in the front had become detached and flames were belching from underneath the bonnet. Bruno took the extinguisher and knew exactly where to point it - first through the grille and then underneath the wheel-arch - and also at which volume to use it. It was a tiny extinguisher, but he just made it last and managed to put out the flames.

I had full confidence in Bruno: he was very good everywhere. It's rare for a Swede..."