Wed 23 Aug 2023

Remembering Miki Biasion's final WRC victory

Ott Tänak would like to win next month’s EKO Acropolis Rally Greece (7 - 10 September). The Estonian’s without a win since February, so topping the Greek podium would suit the M-Sport Ford star down to the ground.

Call that a wait for a win? That’s nothing. Wind back to the Acropolis Rally three decades ago and two-time world champion Miki Biasion had been chasing a victory for three seasons. And in Greece, 1993, those hopes were realised.

There’s further significance attached to that Acropolis win – it was the Italian’s last WRC win and his only success with Ford, instead of Lancia.

It’s fair to say, it didn’t come easy.

“It was,” said Biasion, “one of the hardest rallies of my career. It was like a Safari Rally in Europe.”

Welcome to the 1993 Acropolis Rally - an event which claimed all factory Toyotas and Subarus in conditions which decimated much of the field.

Soaring temperatures combined with the rockiest of rocky roads to seek out every weakness aboard Biasion’s Boreham-run Ford Escort RS Cosworth. The rocks smashed rear anti-roll bar fixings, leaving the Escort understeering for the best part of a day before the mechanics could fix the issue.

Of more concern were the continued overheating problems – the same issue which ruled Biasion’s team-mate and early leader François Delecour out. The Frenchman had forged into a lead, but was forced to hand it over when his car’s engine failed. With a day remaining, Biasion was two and a half minutes ahead of Carlos Sainz’s Lancia and Armin Schwarz’s Mitsubishi. Surely it would be enough?

Not once the sun came up and the Ford’s coolant temperature touched 120 degrees. He crawled home with everything turned down – even overcoming a late-in-the-day fire in the car’s wiring loom.

It was a win worth waiting for and a win Biasion wouldn’t forget in a hurry.

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