Meeting with the world champion in the Eighties, protagonist of the Lancia epic in rallies. Some of the most curious episodes that contributed to his training as a driver and some advice on driving
Pilot is born. Like a child born on the Asiago plateau, in a hidden corner of the Veneto, he becomes one of the most loved Italian drivers: Miki Biasion, two-time world rally champion in 1988 and 1989, tells us anecdotes and curiosities about his “training” at steering wheel. From the first skids as a child, secretly from his mother, in the parking lot of a supermarket, to the 1979 Italian rally championship on the Opel Kadett Gte, to the Lancia epic, with the first Italian and European titles in 83, and the first world championship in 1988 on the Delta Integrale. Mistakes made, mistakes to avoid, intuitions, and a lot of sympathy.
in the parking lot with mom’s r4
Miki, when was your first time in the car? “She was at the age of nine, in a supermarket parking lot with my mother’s Renault 4. I had spied on what she was doing, how she placed her feet: I did some tests and then I was able to leave. And that’s where my automotive career began. “
But how did that first attempt go? “Bad, because one summer evening then I went to see some stuntman performances and the next day I wanted to try to do the same things, overturning ruinously! Without belts and without anything that could protect me. And after that time they forbade me to get in car, up to the age of 18 “.
But a punishment as it should be, for that “prank” your mother gave it to you? “To tell the truth, no, because my mother was the first woman in Veneto to have a driving license, so she had a great passion for four wheels and flew over. But the punishment was in any case precisely that of not being able to drive until 18 years”.
And then who taught you to really drive, how did you become the Miki Biasion who had no rivals on those roads? “None. Because in those days there were no real sports driving or safe driving schools, like today. I was self-taught, I went to see the great champions on the side of the road in the special tests, and then even from simple photographs I looked for to understand their driving tactics. In secret with some friend’s car I tried to put into practice what I seemed to have understood and I did the first experiments “.
the champion out of racing
Today, on everyday roads, how do you drive? “I am extremely careful and prudent, also because I often go to preach in high schools to drive carefully and respect others. For this I feel like a kind of special guard”.
Do you get fines? Did you pass by the caudine forks of the speed camera? “Yes, it has happened, especially at night, when there is no traffic and the roads are clear, driving thoughtlessly. But I am extremely careful. Especially if I drink a few glasses of wine at the table, I never drive. And I use the speakerphone, because the big causes of accidents today are distraction and the telephone “.
But is a pilot always a pilot or only when needed? “The driver always remains a driver, so he has above-average driving and reaction skills. But the real driver only runs when he is on a racing car, with all the safety precautions required, roll bars, seats and the right belts”.
The most frequent mistakes you see made in traffic? “They are careless errors, caused by driving with the phone in hand. And then, in my opinion, every four or five years we should take a refresher course on the new rules of the Highway Code. I got my driver’s license forty years ago, for example, and since then no one has ever really updated me; I try to read and understand if there are new rules, but not everyone does. My suggestion is therefore to find out about how to behave in traffic today “.
Women behind the wheel? “The woman is different from the man in everything, therefore also at the wheel. She drives differently: she is more flirtatious, certainly more prudent, but at the same time also more distracted”.
the winning intuition at the monte-carlo rally
Is there a race that you would have done in a different way, in hindsight? “Many, even if I have to say that in my career I have been lucky. Of course, as they say, everyone is a blacksmith of their own luck, but it went well for me. A race that I set up very badly, in retrospect, was a race in Africa , in 1990. After I had won that race in ’88 and ’89, I left without the necessary caution, perhaps a little too bold, feeling stronger than the others. And I immediately broke the engine! “.
The intuition instead that made you win a race? “Certainly at a Monte-Carlo Rally, which has always been the most difficult race in the world championship for tire choice, because there are dry surfaces, wet surfaces, and dry and wet surfaces at the same time. Guessing the right tire at the same time. Monte-Carlo was like playing a joker. At that race I decided to follow my instinct and, despite the advice of the team leader, I decided to mount completely different tires than those of my teammates: and the intuition was the better, because with those tires on the Lancia Delta I really made a difference in the special stage and I won the race “.
What tires were they? “They were the first Pirelli PZero road bikes, fresh from production, which still struggled to be developed on the market and which instead made us win the Rallye Monte-Carlo”.
What music do you listen to in the car? “I don’t listen to music, because I concentrate on driving”. An unforgettable road trip? “In a Renault 4, I traveled around Italy along the coast, sleeping in the car”.
The car of the heart? “The Lancia Delta, because in addition to being the car I developed and with which I won the world titles, it is the car that I still drive with the greatest satisfaction today.”
The machine to conquer a woman? “It depends on the character of the woman. If a sports car is definitely sporty, if instead she is a quiet woman, I would take her to La Scala in a Range Rover”.
Sand, earth, snow or ice? “Definitely snow. Driving on snow is wonderful, you need great sensitivity and the right tires: but when a driver knows how to drive on snow, he can drive anywhere”.
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