Rally legend Hannu Mikkola, 78, is dead.

Mikkola's Vesa son confirms the grief news on social media.

Mikkola's departure touches the rally world extensively.

- A really sad day for the rally family.

One of the best drivers of all time is dead, Spanish legend Carlos Sainz wrote on Twitter and sent his condolences to those close to Mikkola.

Mikkola won the World Rally Championship with his Audi Quattro in 1983.

He was in World Championship silver in 1979, 1980 and 1984 and bronze in 1981 and 1982.

At the first World Rally Driving Championship in 1979, Mikkola narrowly lost by one point to his Ford teammate Björn Waldegård.

Mikkola is especially remembered as a great man of the Jyväskylä Rally.

He won it a record seven times, the first time in 1968 and the last in 1983. Only Marcus Grönholm has since managed to ignore Mikkola's record.

Mikkola was immediately involved in the first season of the World Rally Championship in 1973. He won 18 World Rally Championships in his career and achieved 44 prize places.

Mikkola drove his last World Championship victory in the 1987 Safari Rally, which he had won for the first time in 1972 as the first non-African driver.

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 at the age of 51 in Jyväskylä in 1993.

Below are pictures from Mikkola's career.

Map reader Anssi Järvi poured bubbling on Mikkola after his second victory in the Jyväskylä Suurajoj in 1969. Photo: Pentti Koskinen

The three winners of the Great Races photographed in 1975. Stig Blomqvist (left), Hannu Mikkola and Timo Mäkinen. Image: Lehtikuva

Mikkola instructed Audia in the gravel gutter of Central Finland in 1982. Photo: Marko Mäkinen

Markku Alén (left), winner Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist at the Jyväskylä Grand Prix in 1983. Photo: Esko Sala

For a long time, Arne Hertz from Sweden (left) worked as a map reader for Mikkola (right).

Photo from the 1983 World Championship. Photo: Esko Sala

Mikkola at the Finnish World Rally Championship 1985 with the legendary Group B Audi S1 ​​Quattro super cannon. Photo: Marko Mäkinen

Monte Carlo top three 1986: Audi Mikkola (left), Lancian Henri Toivonen and Peugeot's Timo Salonen.

A few months later, Toivonen was the last to win. Photo: Ari Ojala / Lehtikuva

Mikkola Montessa 1986. Photo: Ari Ojala / Lehtikuva

In 1989, Olympic winner Matti Nykänen (left) acted as Mikkola's map reader at the Mänttä 200. Photo: Ari Ojala / Lehtikuva