Johnny Haugland book to be launched in October

(17. 09. 2023)

Mr Škoda. Or just Johnny. But a legend for sure. The lively Norwegian driver, whose career was mostly connected with Škoda cars, will celebrate his 77th birthday in September this year, and it is not just this occasion that made him decide to publish his sports biography.

The book launch ceremony, scheduled for Tuesday 24th October, will take place at Škoda Auto’s Education Centre “Na Karmeli”. In many a fan’s mind this celebratory moment will kick off a WRC week in the Czech Republic – on Thursday 26th October the first-ever WRC event in the country will have its start in Prague. “I’ve been thinking of some kind of a book for quite some time to remind readers as well as myself of what rallies looked like some 30 to 50 years ago. Why did I choose Dan Porazil to collaborate with? I like his work and know no-one else in the Czech Republic who would do a better job writing this book,” John Haugland – the man whose name is imprinted forever in the memory of Czech fans primarily as a three-time Rally Škoda and Barum Rally champion – explained.

photo: Jiří Rohlena - Barum rally 1981

The full-colour book brings you over 360 pages of storytelling which comes not only from its main character, but also from his team-mates and other personalities connected with the career of this unforgettable rally driver. The reader will thus find out, among other things, the inner workings of the unusual relations between Johnny, the manufacturing plant in Mladá Boleslav and companies such as Motokov and Škoda Great Britain. “We worked on the book for just under two years. When I saw the complete product for the first time about a month ago, though, its scope and photographs left me speechless. More than two-thirds of the pictures included there I’d never even seen before. Dan did a tremendous job,“ the native of Stavanger said, adding that he also enjoyed reading what his contemporaries had to say about him on its pages.

John Haugland’s co-drivers of the past included legendary British journalist Martin Holmes. A parallel between the new publication and the years of Martin’s work and books he wrote is obvious. ”Although Martin had a different style of taking pictures, the photographs and the book’s layout would definitely make him excited,“ Johnny explained, going on to say that the famous journalist had also been a huge Škoda fan. It is no coincidence, therefore, that his snapshots are featured in the book alongside photos taken by a range of renowned photographers.

photo: archive of Johnny Haugland - RAC rally 1981

The preparations for the launch are in full swing. “I’m glad the book will be launched at a respectable venue – Škoda Auto’s Education Centre “Na Karmeli” – and with many guests present. Besides the central figure, his co-drivers of choice Monika Eckardt, Arild Antonsen, Petter Vegel and Fred Gallagher should also be attending. On top of that, we expect to see members of that former Škoda factory team as well,“ the book’s author outlined the shape of things to come at the launch and added that the evening ceremony will be hosted by Markéta Srbová, the presenter of the Week in Motorsport show broadcast by O2 TV SPORT.

It has become a lovely tradition that Dan Porazil’s books about rallying are connected to charity to help children. ”I can confirm it will be the case this time round, too. We’re currently working on the shape and form of our help, and it will depend on the volume and velocity of sales,“ the native of Mladá Boleslav said in confirmation of his plans, expressing his joy that the city of Mladá Boleslav was also involved as one of the sponsors along with Škoda and many other patrons.

PFR Media


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