Joy and pain. The Lancia Delta S4 is a success story, but also a story of authentic human dramas. Its rally debut dates back to 1985. This car was built to compete with the other Group B, Audi Quattro and Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 in the lead. S stood for supercharged, 4 as the number of drive wheels. She was the heir of the Lancia 037. To carry out the first tests was Giorgio Pianta, who held the role of chief Abarth test driver. Subsequently Cesare Fiorio, head of Squadra Corse Lancia, entrusted the development of the car to the driver Miki Biasion. The debut, in the 1985 Rally Rac, was a real triumph, with Henri Toivonen victorious in front of his partner Markku Alen. The following year it opened with Toivonen’s success at Monte Carlo. In Sweden Peugeot won, but Alen finished second, while Toivonen had to retire due to a problem with the engine. Alen took yet another third place in Kenya. Then the tragedy in Corsica, where Toivonen and his navigator Sergio Cresto flew off the road during the special stage #18. Their car burned and both lost their lives. It went on sadly, with Biasion closing second in Greece and then finishing third in New Zealand, where he finished behind Alen. The Venetian, however, won the Argentine stage, this time putting his teammate behind, who in turn finished third in Finland. In the Sanremo Rally it was Alen who achieved success. A Lancia hat-trick was clinched, with Dario Cerrato and Biasion himself completing the podium in order. Alen also finished second at the Rac and in the USA he obtained the last victory for the Delta S4. At the end of the year, however, the Constructors’ title went to Peugeot who, after winning the appeal relating to the disqualification suffered in the Italian round, also won the Drivers’ one. The FIA’s decision to ban Group B cars since 1987 brought the curtain down on the adventure of this car in the championship. By David Tarallo
Lancia Delta S4 1985 | Diecast Model | AUTOart 1:18
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