A former rally driver (early 80s). He started his 'Imp career' in the late 70s
Mr. Reijo Halonen (Espoo, near Helsinki) bought a Hillman Imp and rebuilt it as a Historic F period racing car to correspond the specifications for an Imp Rallye. See also the presentation of his Hillman Imp Rallye on the site of HRM Finland.
(FIA recognition no. 526).
There are five circuits in Finland. Plus in wintertime some lakes serve as circuits for Ice racing.
|HRF Race Series; Results 1996; Historic Touring / GTS Cars
|Fiat 1000 Abarth
Triumph Spitfire 4
Opel Kadett Coupe
Fiat Abarth 1000 BC
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Morris Cooper S
Morris Mini Minor
The first season Reijo Halonen participated, his Imp was set up according to factory specifications, but without any further tuning. (Of course all the safety equipment was included, and passenger seats and carpets were removed.)
The season resulted in a 2nd place in the HRF circuit cup in class 1 and Mr. Petteri Sappinen's two third places in Historic rallies.
HRF stands for "Historic Race Finland", a Finnish club, which arranges races for historic race cars.
|HRF Race Series; Results 1997; Historic Touring / GTS Cars
|Hillman Imp Rallye
Triumph Spitfire 4
Fiat Abarth 1000 Berlina Corsa
Morris Cooper S 1275
Opel Kadett Coupe
For the season of '97 two new engines were built. One for Mr. Halonen for circuit racing and the other for Mr. Sappinen for rallying. Both engines delivered some 80 hp, which was enough to bring championship to both drivers. The car was really a winner in circuits and rallies at the same season as in 'the good old times'.
|HRF Race Series 1998 - Final results||of class Historic D|
|1.||Jari Tabell||Triumph Spitfire 4 '64||-||7||6||8||8||8||37||37|
|2.||Luotonen Joni||Fiat 1000 Abarth '65||-||8||8||9||9||1||35||35|
|3.||Reijo Halonen||Hillman Imp Rallye||6||6||7||7||1||7||34||33|
|4.||Jukka Korhonen||Opel Kadett Coupe '67||-||-||-||6||7||-||13||13|
|5.||Ilkka Lindstedt||Morris Cooper S||-||-||-||-||-||9||9||9|
For the '98 season the Imp was modified to be even better suited to circuit racing. (Following the example of Mr. Sappinen, who had built a similar Imp for himself, only for rallying.) The suspension was stiffened and camshaft (R20) was changed.
The new camshaft gave more power at the top end, but the torque was lessened at lower rpms. For the fast tracks this worked well, but at the 'hairy' Ahvenisto track the car was almost impossible to drive. Thus the result of a third place in the HRF circuit cup and one Rally Sprint class win.
... Reijo Halonen in his Hillman Imp Rallye doing battle with a Triumph Spitfire for D-class positions. (The BMW 1800ti is in class B.)
1999 will bring no major changes. The camshaft will be changed to either an R22 or a custom made profile, and an anti-roll bar will be fitted up front. The Imp will get a new set of Dunlop Racings, normal service plus a good wash and then it will be considered ready for the season of '99.
Reijo Halonen's next project is yet another Hillman Imp. This time a previous stage rally car with a genuine competition history for period G. The photo shows it at full speed in the Forssa-rally of 1971.
The replica was seen to compete in the Motopark 17-18 July 2000 , the start of the HRF season.
Reijo Halonen was given the 'Reindeer of the Year'-award for making the club activities to go forward, i.e. 'dragging the sledge'.
The replica was seen to compete in the Ahvenisto 19-20 May 2001, the start of the HRF season. Rainy Sunday. And also on the Historic Grand Race 18 and 19 August 2001: a) b) c)
The Imp Site