Taisto Heinonen

Taisto Heinonen & Tom Burges win the 1979 Pacific Forest Rally

Inducted 2003

As his nominations papers state, Taisto Heinonen’s record shows that he stands at the top of the class of Canada rallysport drivers. He heads the small group of drivers who have attained Grand Master status (over 2,000 points) with a lifetime total of 5,580 points – some 800 ahead of the rest. Heinonen racked up a total of 40 victories in Canadian national events in his relatively short driving career and captured five national championships between 1977 and 1982, when he retired from competition. During that time, he was primarily responsible for Toyota winning the Marques Championship six times. The car control demonstrated by Taisto Heinonen was awesome. He seemed to do the impossible, especially in snow and ice and he rarely crashed. He always seemed to be able to “dig deeper’` when necessary to overcome the opposition. He was also a constructor, building his own cars, including the factory entries when he ran for Toyota. The cars were professionally constructed and maintained and seldom did he drop out of an event because of mechanical failure. Taisto started rallying in Finland, the country of his birth, in 1964. He immigrated to Canada in 1970 and entered rallying in this country in 1971. One of the reasons he did as well in winter conditions was that he won the B.C. Region Ice Racing Championship three straight years from 1974 through ’76. He retired from competition in 1983.

Image via Pacific Forest Rally

Walter Boyce

Inducted 2003

Walter Boyce is a Canadian rallysport hero. He is the only Canadian rally driver ever to win an FIA World Championship Rally. Teamed with co-driver Doug Woods, he decisively won the 1973 Press-On-Regardless Rally. He is one of the few Canadians to have been seeded by the FIA and the only North American ever ranked in the top seed. Additionally, Boyce scored countless Canadian and SCCA sanctioned event victories during his career, including the Canadian Winter Rally and the Rally of the Rideau Lakes. His record of five consecutive Canadian National Championship titles has never been equaled. Entering his first rally in 1967 with his brother Harry navigating in his mother’s Mercury Comet, Walter took just two years to hit his stride on the national stage. Between September 1969 and March of 1971, he entered 21 Canadian National Championship rallies (including 4 FIA listed international events) and recorded 10 wins, 5 places and 6 DNF’s. 1969 also included a third overall in the famous Press-On-Regardless, his favourite event. He even competed in and won the Cannonball Run – One Lap of America in 1985. Not content to just compete in rallies, Walter Boyce has written about the sport in a number of Canadian publications, assisted in event presentation and was the President of Outaouais Valley Autosport Club.