Former world champ to drive in Otago Rally

By David Thomson on Sat, 8 Dec 2012 | Motorsport | Rally | Rally of Otago
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Miki Biasion. Photo Getty

Rally of Otago organisers this week announced former world champion Miki Biasion will drive a Porsche 911 in the Classic category next April.

The 54-year-old Italian was 1988 and 1989 World Rally champion to underscore his class in a 15-year career, which featured 17 WRC event wins.

After 16 wins with the Lancia team in the fast but fearsome Delta Integrale, Biasion moved to Ford for the 1992 season, ,in which he enjoyed more success in the Escort RS Cosworth.

He retired from rallying at the end of the 1994 season but went on to win the World Truck Championship in 1998 and 1999.

At next year's Drivesouth Rally of Otago his co-driver will be compatriot Fabrizia Pons, who has co-driven for many of the event's international drivers, including Pasi Hagstrom, Alex Fiorio, Michele Mouton, and Ari Vatanen.

Event spokesman Roger Oakley said organisers were thrilled to have attracted another former world champion to the southern hemisphere's foremost classic rally.

''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.''

Next year's race 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.