World Champion to contest 2013 Rally of Otago
- 3rd December 2012, 2:18pm
The 54-year old Italian was the 1988 and 1989 World Rally Champion driving for the powerful Lancia team, and won 17 WRC events in a stellar 15 year career at the top level.
At the peak of his powers he was successful in almost three quarters of the WRC events he contested for Lancia, winning five events in both his championship-winning seasons.
After 16 wins in Lancia’s Delta Integrale, Biason moved to Ford for the 1992 season, taking another victory in the Escort RS Cosworth, in 1993.
He retired from rallying at the end of the 1994 season, but went on to win the World Truck Championship in 1998 and 1999.
For the 2013 Rally of Otago, the Italian will be co-driver be countrywoman, Fabrizia Pons, one of the rally’s biggest supporters.
Pons has co-driven for many of the event’s international drivers, including Pasi Hagstrom, Alex Fiorio, Ari Vatanen and Michele Mouton.
Event spokesman, Roger Oakley, said that they were thrilled to have attracted another former World Champion to the Southern Hemisphere’s foremost classic rally.
Event spokesman Roger Oakley said that confirmation of Biasion was tremendous news for the event.
“Miki being here will provide a lot of excitement for the event, and will attract a lot of competitors wishing to see how they compare against him,” Oakley said.
“He will undoubtedly be very fast, and the Porsche is a fantastic car, but there will a lot of speculation about how this combination will fare against the dominant Ford Escort BDAs.”
Oakley said that spectators and fans will have an opportunity to not only appreciate his driving talent, but also to meet him. He also wished to thank to the event’s supporters, and in particular Allan Dippie, the owner of the Porsche.
Next year’s Rally of Otago will also be the first round of the New Zealand Rally Championship, and the 20th consecutive year that the Otago Sports Car Club has hosted a round of the NZRC, a feat that even Rally New Zealand can’t claim.
Details on the format and route for the rally will be announced in the coming weeks.
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