When Biasion drove the doors off the Delta

The Italian signed off Group B’s epic adventure with yet more drama


Washington’s own Olympus Rally is often talked about as the final act in the Group B story. Rightly and wrongly. It was, of course, the end of the World Rally Championship road. But there was still time for one more moment.

Maybe it was fitting that northern Italy got to wave away these forest-born supercars. Not that there were many trees around in downtown Bologna for the second annual Memorial Bettega Rallysprint.

The event came from the most tragic circumstances – as a way to remember Lancia star Attilio Bettega, who died when his Lancia 037 crashed out of the 1985 Tour de Corse. It still runs today, with stars of the world championship gathering for an end-of-season race followed by a Peroni or two.

Motor Show Memorial Attilio Bettega Bologna (ITA) 01-12-1986

Now, to the picture. To Miki Biasion and his door-less Delta. This was the last day of the event; the Italian was up against Lancia team-mate Markku Alén in the final and neither was giving an inch. The Finn’s car was briefly on its side, while Biasion’s S4 skittled some straw bales marking the outside of a particularly slippery corner.

The driver’s side door became dislodged at the hinge and, with no time in the turn-around between runs, a marshal was summoned to remove it.

Regardless of the pouring rain and chilly December temperatures, Biasion battled on, but still finished second to Alén. Thanks, as ever, to the Girardo & Co. Archive for this stunning piece of history.