THE AHLIN FAMILY TREE
The British Rally Championship is flush with impressive family trees to die for. It won’t take you long to find Elfyn Evans is the son of 1996 British champion Gwyndaf, and his DMACK British Rally Team partner Max Vatanen is the son of 1981 WRC and 1976, ’80 British champion Ari.
But the latest challenger to the scene – Fredrik Ahlin – has brought an impressive lineage of his own.
Perhaps the most prolific of his ancestors is grandfather Freddy Kottulinsky. He was 1966 Swedish Formula 3 champion and went on to compete in F3, F2 and Formula Super Vee through the 1970s. As if that wasn’t enough for Kottulinsky, he also forged a career in touring cars, sportscars and eventually in rallying, where perhaps his biggest achievement lies. In a Volkswagen Iltis, the German-born driver won the ParisDakar in one of the most important vehicles in rally history in 1980. The car itself isn’t exactly iconic. The four-wheel-drive system it ran with is. It’s the technology that formed the basis of the systems used in Audi’s Group B monsters. Kottulinksy’s daughter – Susanne – also caught the rallying bug. Competing in Sweden and internationally with Volvo and later Audi works deals, she wasn’t short of successful results.
Joining her in rallying in the 1980s-’90s was future husband Jerry Ahlin. Also a works Audi driver in Sweden, he went on to drive for Alfa Romeo in the late 1980s.
The family ties don’t stop there. Fredrick’s younger sister maybe well-known to some, as Mikaela AhlinKottulinsky competes in the ADAC GT Masters series in an Audi R8 LMS GT3. She also boasts successful stints in DTM support series, including the Audi TT Cup, and a relationship with F1’s latest winner, Max Verstappen.