How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling
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How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling

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Audi should have been invincible in the snowy conditions that typically greeted the World Rally Championship paddock in Monte Carlo. But unexpectedly warm weather for the 1983 season opener, combined with some left-field thinking from the Lancia crew turned the tables. Forty years on, team boss Cesare Fiorio reflects on a smash and grab.

Lancia’s surprise victory to kick off the 1983 World Rally Championship season on the Monte Carlo Rally, and in doing so defeat the all-conquering four-wheel-drive Audi Quattro, has gone down in rallying folklore and deserves a place among the great motorsport giant-killing stories.

It was a win that kicked off a fierce yet fascinating rivalry with Audi that ultimately went the way of the plucky Italian marque. To this day, Lancia’s rear-wheel-drive 037 rocket remains the last two-wheel-drive car to win the manufacturers’ crown.

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