Massimo Miki Biasion
Miki Biasion won the Driver's World Rally Championship title twice in 1988 and 1989
1981 Coppa Liburna
Massimo Miki Biasion was born 7 January 1958, is an Italian rally racing driver. He was Born at Bassano del Grappa, Northern Italy.
Massimo "Miki" Biasion began his motorsport career in 1974 competing in motorcross events.
Miki Biasion started competing in Rally events in 1979, in an Opel Kadett GT/E. His co-driver was his friend Tizian Siviero. He achieved 38th overall at his debut, the Rally of Modena.
He then drove an Opel Ascona SR in the Italian Rally Championship, and won its class. He also participated in three European Rally Championship events; Rally Targa Florio, Rally Elba, and Rally San Mario. He achieved fifth-overall, forth-overall, and ninth-overall respectively.
In October, he made his debut in the World Rally Championship in the Rally Sanremo, but withdrew from the eight stage after an issue with the differential.
In 1981, Miki Biasion drove an Opel Ascona 400, participating Italian and European Rally Championship events. He finished fourth in Rally Quattro Regioni and Rally San Mario.
His first World Rally Championship podium finish was the sixth-overall at the 1981 Rally Sanremo, driving an Opel Ascona 400 for the Hawk Racing Club.
In 1982 he finished the Rally Sanremo with eight-overall position in the wheels of an Opel Ascona 400 for Conrero.
Miki Biasion also won the Italian Rally Championship in Group 4 and competed in four European Rally Championship events and achieved third in the Rally Targa Florio, fourth in Rally Quattro Regioni, first in the Rally Internazionale della Lana, and second in the Rally San Marino.
1983 - 1985 Jolly Club
1984 Rally di Montecarlo
His performance and driving style secured him a contract with the Jolly Club Totip in 1983.
He also won several European Rally Championship events such as Rally Costa Brava, Rally Sol, Costa Smeralda, and Rally Quattro Regioni. He finished second in the Rally Internazionale della Lana. He also won the Ypres Rally and Rally Madeira San Marino. He then finished Rally of Aosta with third-overall position. These victories made him the European Rally Champion and the Italian Rally Champion.
He was given a Lancia Rally 037 which he drove from 1983 to 1985 with several podium finishes including the fifth overall at 1983 Rally Sanremo, sixth-overall at Rally Monte Carlo, fourth-overall at Rally Portugal, second-overall at 1984 Tour de Course, third-overall at 1984 Rally Sanremo. Now he was in third place behind Ari Vatanen and Attilio Bettega on the Driver's Championship table. He then got ninth-overall at 1984 Monte Carlo, second-overall at 1984 Rally Portugal, and sixth-overall at 1984 Rally Sanremo. Miki Biassion finished the season with sixth place in the World Rally Championship Driver's Championship.
In 1985, Miki Biasion finished Rally Monte Carlo with ninth-overall, Rally Portugal with second-place, Rally Sanremo with sixth-overall. He was now in twelfth place in the Driver's World Rally Championship point table.
He also competed in several ERC events. He competed in the Rally Costa Brave. He finished Rally of Portugal with second-position, won Rally Costa Blanca, finished Rally of Elba with second-overall, won Rally of Chalkidiki. These victories put him in sixth place of the European Rally Championship.
1986 Lancia Martini Works Team
Miki Biasion with Fiorri
Miki Biasion was signed up for the Lancia Martini World Rally Championship team in 1986.
His debut with the Lancia Martini Works Team was in the Monte Carlo Rally. He had an accident but somehow managed to wrestle the car to finish to a 68th place. He retired from the Rally of Portugal, and Safari Rally.
In May, at Tour de Corse Rally, Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto had a fatal crash and died. Cesare Fiorio, manager of the Lancia Martini Works team, decided to withdraw its remaining drivers from the rally. So, Miki Biasion and Markku Alen had to sit back.
Despite the earlier setbacks, Miki Biasion soon adapted to the Group A rallying format and went on to finish the Acropolis Rally with second-overall, and the New Zealand Rally with third-overall. He then won his debut WRC rally event at the Rallye Argentina.
He finished Rally Sanremo with third-overall. But, due to a dispute between the Peugeot team and the organizers whom disqualified Peugeot team due to irregular side skirts, FIA decided to annul the results of the Sanremo rally. Miki Biasion was now on fifth place in the Driver's World Rally Championship.
He drove a Lancia Delta S4 in all the rallies except the Safari rally, which he competed in the wheels of a Lancia 037 Rally.
In 1987, in the wheels of a Lancia Delta HF 4WD, he won the Rally Monte Carlo, Rallye Argentina, and Rally Sanremo. He finished the Rally Portugal with eighth-overall, Tour de course with third-overall, Acropolis Rally with seventh-overall, and Olympus Rally with second-overall. These victories made him the runner up of the Driver's World Rally Championship.
1987 Lancia Delta HF 4WD Rally
1988 racing season started with a retirement at the Monte Carlo rally. However, Miki Biasion now in the wheels of an all-new Lancia Delta Integrale, went on to win Rally Portugal (In Portugal Rally, Tiziano Siviero was replaced by Carlo Cassina due to health issues.), Safari Rally, Acropolis Rally, Olympus Rally, and Rally Sanremo. He also finished the Rallye Argentina with second-overall. These victories secured him his first ever Driver's World Rally Championship.
In 1989 racing season, Miki Biasion won the Rally Monte Carlo, Rally Portugal, Safari Rally, Acropolis Rally in the wheels of a Lancia Delta Integrale. He also finished the Rally Finland with a sixth-overall. He then went on to win Rally Sanremo behind the wheel of a Lancia Delta Integrale 16V. These victories secured him his second consecutive Driver's World Rally Championship.
Miki Biasion became the second driver to successfully defend his title after Juha Kankkunen and the third driver to win two championship titles after Juha Kankkunen and Walter Röhrl.
For 1990 and 1991 racing seasons, he drove a Lancia Delta Integrale 16V. In 1991, he won the Rally Portugal, and Rally Argentina. He also scored three third placed in Monte Carlo Rally, Acropolis Rally, and RAC Rally. These wins made him fourth in line for the Driver's championship title.
In 1991, Miki Biasion didn't win any event. He finished Monte Carlo Rally, Rally Argentina, and Rally Sanremo with second-overall. He finished Rally Portugal with third-overall. He again became fourth in line for the championship.
1992 - 1995 Ford
For 1992 racing season, he left the Martini Lancia team for Ford factory team when he was offered a contract that made him the highest-paid driver of his time, and this allowed him some managerial input. However, he soon regretted his decision to leave after finding the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4X4 not up to his expectations.
After competing in the 1992 Monte Carlo Rally without much success, he described the car as a "piece of shit". However, he finished the Portuguese Rally with second overall position, the best results for the car.
For 1993 racing season, Ford unveiled Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Miki Biasion won the Acropolis Rally and led the Driver's championship for some time. Despite these wins, he was forced to live in the shadows of François Delecour. When François Delecour had a massive accident, Ford team decided to keep their drivers from competing for sometime, forcing him to sit out much of the 1994 racing season.
Financial difficulties also meant that there was insufficient resources for the further development of Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Miki Biasion and team management had disputes that further deteriorated his relationship with the team. He was later dropped for the 1995 racing season. His last World Rally Championship event was the 1994 RAC Rally.
1995 Privateer and retirement
Miki Biasion competed in several rallies for private teams and retired quietly at the end of the 1995 racing season.
Miki Biasion has appeared in several historic rally events across Europe, mainly in Italy.
He also won the World Truck Championship in 1998 and 1999 driving an Iveco truck.
Miki Biassion regularly makes an appearance on the show events and RallyLegend events to drive a course car.
Miki Biasion after retirement
Miki Biasion won the World Rally Championship twice and among the small elite drivers who were successful in both Group B era and post Group B. Group B rallying endured many tragic occurance in 1986. Joaquim Santos lost control of his Ford RS 2000 on the course of the Rallye Portugal when he tried to avoid some spectators, he hit a group of spectators. Thirty one were injured and three were killed. Audi scaled down their World Rally Championship efforts due to the dominance of the rivals such as Peugeot and Lancia. Peugeot was heavily criticized for racing with illegal aerodynamic tweaks such as the massive rear wing and side skirts, and got disqualified twice.
Then within a short period of time, Miki Biasion's teammates Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresto died when they crashed their Lancia Delta S4. Jean Marie Balestre decided to ban Group B along with proposed Group S, making Audi quit the World Rally Championship efforts altogether. Before the Group B and Group S events were cancelled, Miki Biasion got a chance to test drive and the Lancia ECV prototype.
Driver's like Michele Mouton left the World Rally Championship after the ban of Group B rallying. Star drivers like Timo Salonen found it hard to get used to the change. Yet, Miki Biasion could somehow adapt to the change.
With the experience he gained in the wheels of the demanding Lancia 037 Rally and Lancia Delta S4, Miki Biassion soon get used to the Delta Integrale variants.
With two consecutive Driver's World Rally Championship titles to his name along with seventeen World Rally Championship event victories, 372 stage wins, and a total of 768 points, Miki Biassion is one of the most accomplished World Rally Championship driver's of all time.
He was married to Chantal Galli, an Italian rally driver best known for winning the Italian women's rally championship several times. They had four children. The pair divorced and now Biasion is married to Paola.
Photo credits goes to: www.facebook.com/MikiBiasion/photos/