Tihomir Filipović, one of the most iconic names in Croatian rallying, passed away at the age of 67 after a lengthy illness. His daughter Iva Veronek broke the news on Wednesday.
Filipović’s career saw tremendous success on both sides of Croatia’s independence from Yugoslavia, winning the Yugoslavian Rally Championship in 1989 and the Croatian Rally title two years later. He won the Delta Rally, now a leg of the World Rally Championship, three straight years from 1989 to 1991. In 1984, he claimed the Yugoslav road racing and hillclimbing national championships.
His experience also extends to touring cars, competing in the European Touring Car Championship in the 1980s. In 1990, he entered the Paris–Dakar Rally in a Land Rover as the lone racer from Yugoslavia and reached the finish in seventy-seventh overall.
The son of former bike racer Pere Filipović, he began racing on motorcycles in his youth before entering four-wheeled professional motorsport in 1977. He retired from professional racing in 1994, but returned to the driver’s seat in 2021 for a hillclimb.
His final year of racing in 2022 saw him take part in the Delta Rally and finish twenty-third overall and third in Class 1.