Sep 11, 2016
• Latin legend joins stars and cars from the sport’s golden age
• Competing in Group B was ‘a maximum adrenaline experience’
• Advance adult tickets on sale from just £20, under 16s go free!
Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is delighted to announce that two-time FIA World Rally Champion, Miki Biasion, will be joining a host of famous stars and cars showcasing the sport’s epic Group B era at next month’s UK round of the FIA World Rally Championship (27-30 October).
Biasion is amongst small number of heroic drivers to have won a WRC round aboard one of the fearsome Group B monsters that dominated the sport during the early eighties. Competing in a factory-entered Lancia Delta S4, the Italian ace won Rally Argentina in 1986. His maiden WRC victory came just months after the tragic accident in Corsica that cost the lives of team-mate Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto, forcing the authorities to ban these extreme Group B machines from the end of that dramatic season.
Introduced in the early eighties, Group B really caught the public’s imagination and, for many, will always be the sport’s golden era. Such was its popularity that publicity-seeking manufacturers such as Audi, Ford, Lancia, MG and Peugeot produced increasingly sophisticated homologation specials in their quest for victory and fame.
In the four years between 1983 and 1986, rallying developed further and faster than it had done over the four previous decades. With superchargers, turbochargers, four-wheel-drive and lightweight materials, Group B took the sport to the absolute edge of performance, but ultimately put it beyond common sense. When FISA culled the category following Toivonen’s fiery and fatal accident, Group B was immortalised.
It’s now 30 years since these incredible beasts were outlawed and, marking that milestone, Biasion will be joining a special Group B Showcase taking place at the family-friendly Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest in association with GreenThumb during next month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.
Visitors to RallyFest will not only be treated to the latest generation of pocket-rocket WRC cars and crews competing in the afternoon but also not-to-be-missed displays and demonstration runs by these revered Group B icons earlier in what is sure to be an action-packed day. More than 20 cars have already been confirmed and Biasion, who subsequently won two World Championships for Lancia in the following – and somewhat tamer – Group A generation of de-tuned cars, will be one of a number of intrepid drivers from that golden age sharing their memories.
“Obviously I won my titles in a Group A car but everyone always wants to talk about the Group B era!” admits the Latin legend. “It was a fantastic period for the sport – the cars were powerful and very popular with the fans. People still talk about us like heroes.”
Although Biasion came to the fore winning both the 1983 Italian and European Championships in a Lancia 037 – the company’s first crack at building a Group B rally car – it’s the hardcore, flame-spitting Delta S4 which followed that everyone really wants to talk about. Armed with a supercharger plus a turbocharger to deliver phenomenal power and performance, it really took full advantage of the Group B regulations.
“It was a maximum adrenaline experience to drive the S4,” he recalls. “The 037 was a really nice car and was very competitive on Tarmac but it was obvious that we needed four-wheel-drive to compete with Audi and the others, so we switched to the S4. The difference in performance was a big, big change. You didn’t think about the dangers, just to drive as fast as possible!”
Thirty years on, Biasion is looking forward to sharing more of his memories with those at Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest.
“It will be a pleasure to come back to Britain in October,” he confirmed. “I have a lot of old friends there and am really looking forward to meeting them as well as the rally fans who, I know, absolutely love the Group B cars.”
“We are thrilled that Miki is joining us for this really special showcase at Cholmondeley RallyFest,” confirmed Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. “Group B really caught the public’s imagination back in the eighties and that’s why we are so excited to be recreating some of that magic 30 years on. More than 20 great cars are already confirmed and we are expecting a number of the other stars from that deified era to join Miki in marking this anniversary in spectacular style. It’s going to be an occasion no-one will want to miss.”
More so as, if purchased in advance, adult tickets for RallyFest are priced at just £20 (compared to £30 on the day) and include an official event programme with a cover price of £9. Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted FREE – a real half-term treat for families.
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