Motor racing-Former F1 driver JJ Lehto sentenced for fatal boat crash

HELSINKI Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:55pm IST

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HELSINKI Dec 14 (Reuters) - Former Finnish Formula One driver and Le Mans winner Jyrki Jarvilehto, who raced as JJ Lehto, was sentenced on Wednesday to two years and four months in jail for a drunken boat accident which killed his friend.

Finland's Lansi-Uudenmaan district court said that Jarvilehto was drunk and speeding on his boat in June 2010, when it hit a bridge support pillar in a canal in Raasepori, southern Finland.

Jarvilehto denied he was driving the boat when the crash happened, although the court said the victim's injuries indicated he was a passenger and Jarvilehto was the driver.

He is appealing the sentence, his lawyer told Finnish news agency STT.

The 45-year-old, managed by compatriot and 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg, drove in Formula One between 1989 and 1994.

His best result was a third place in a Dallara Judd in the 1991 San Marino Grand Prix.

The Finn also raced for Onyx, Sauber and Benetton in his 62 race F1 career before switching to sportscars and winning the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1995 and 2005 with McLaren and Audi respectively. (Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen, editing by Alan Baldwin)

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