Rally legend Hannu Mikkola has died at the age of 78.
Mikkola's son confirmed the sad news on social media early Saturday morning.
- We lost my father Hannu's cancer this weekend.
Most knew him as a rally size, but for me he was a father and an amazing one: always supportive, loving and genuine.
He was also a beloved grandfather to my two sons.
Rest in peace, father, Vesa Mikkola writes on her Twitter account.
Several well-known rally professionals have expressed their condolences on social media over Mikkola's departure.
Mikkola's former rival partner, map reader Fred Gallagher, writes about the grief news on Facebook.
Gallagher worked as a map reader for Juha Kankkunen and Henri Toivonen, among others.
- Hannu Mikkola left us, one of the greatest drivers of all time.
Tony, Henri, Juha and I had some great rallies with him.
Rest in peace.
Carlos Rainz, the two-time world champion of the rally, remembers Mikkola on Twitter.
- A very sad day for the rally family!
One of the best drivers of all time is dead, Hannu Mikkola.
My condolences to his family and friends.
Rest in peace, Sainz writes on Twitter.
French multiple rally car champion Sébastien Ogier also offers his condolences on Twitter.
- A sad day for our species because one of our legends left us.
Hannu Mikkola won the Rally World Championship in the same year which I was born, and though I never had the honor to meet him, I am sad of her passing.
He is remembered as one of the great ones.
My thoughts are with his family and friends.
Rest in peace.
Petter Solberg, the Norwegian World Rally Champion from 2003, describes the late Finnish driver as a legend.
- It's really sad to hear the news about Hannu Mikkola - he was a legend, a real gentleman, a real master and a great father to great children.
I send my condolences to his family and friends.
Hannu Mikkola won the World Rally Championship in 1983. He won World Championship silver in 1979, 1980 and 1984 and a bronze medal in 1981 and 1982.
He won the Jyväskylä Rally a record seven times, the first time in 1968 and the last time in 1983.
Mikkola drove in the World Championships with several brands, but perhaps he is best remembered by Audi, whose driver he was revolutionizing the entire rally world with the legendary four-wheel drive Quattro in the early 1980s.
Mikkola drove his last World Rally Championship in Jyväskylä in 1993 when he was 51 years old.