.:: Carlo Capone: 1984 European Rally Champion ::.

CARLO CAPONE, driver from Piemonte with remarkable speed qualities, was born in GASSINO (near TURIN) in 1958. His debut in the rallies happens in the RALLY TEAM '971, an Italian Rally Cup, where he immediately shows his qualities winning his class with an A112 ABARTH. During this season he disputes other rallies on board of the same small car until the debut (with crash) in the A112 TROPHY in the rally 100.000 TRABUCCHI in Saluzzo. During the FIAT monomarks trophy, the Turinese driver is protagonist. In 1978, during the second edition of the trophy, he obtains the second place after the team companion FABRIZIO TABATON (GRIFONE), winner with the same score but with a bigger number of successes. In the same classification, at the fourth place, we find another rally protagonist, also at the debut in this speciality: GIANFRANCO CUNICO.
In 1979 thanks to the positive results (and also to the respect of the team orders that allowed TABATON to win the A112 TROPHY), he continues his activity with the GRIFONE with a new car: the FIAT RITMO ABARTH. With this Turinese front-wheel drive car, he races until 1982, only obtaining one win, at the RALLY DELLA LANTERNA of 1980, together with MARAN, beyond to the title of group A in the INTERNATIONALS of 1982. In 1983, with the arrival of the LANCIA RALLY 037, for the fast driver new horizons and new successes are opened. Engaged from the JOLLY CLUB of MILAN to dispute the Italian Championship with MIKY BIASION, he immediately obtains an excellent second place in the TARGA FLORIO RALLY and a 5th place end in the COSTA SMERALDA RALLY. The first place is however in the air and in BIELLA, at the RALLY DELLA LANA, he obtains his second success in career at the end of a fast and regular contest. His season continues with a retirement at the COLLINE DI ROMAGNA RALLY when he is leader of the race and finishes with a good 2nd place end in the PIANCAVALLO RALLY, in spite of problems with the engine, after the OPEL MANTA 400 of DARIO CERRATO.
In conclusion of a fought championship that see him only half-protagonist, he is fourth in the general classification gained from the team companion MIKY BIASION, also driving a 037. In 1984, year of the definitive consecration, CARLO CAPONE changes team, passing from the JOLLY to the TRE GAZZELLE for a complete season in the European Championship. The debut, in RALLY BOUCLES de SPA in BELGIUM, happens with a win and continues with a retirement in COSTA BRAVA, when he was at the head of the competition. CAPONE, after this debacle, takes immediately a revenge obtaining a new win, always in SPAIN at the RALLY RACE, a 2nd place end in SARDINIA in COSTA SMERALDA, to continue with a win in POLONIA, ZLATNI PIASSATZI RALLY and with a 4th place end in BELGIUM, at the 24h YPRES Rally. In the remaining contests of this so engaging season, CAPONE obtains three retirements, at the ACROPOLIS RALLY, at the RALLY of MADEIRA, after going off road, and in CYPRUS, because of an engine failure, and three successes: in HUNGARY at the RALLY ALBENA, FRANCE in ANTIBES and GREECE in HALKIDIKIS RALLY.
A championship undoubtedly rich of satisfactions for the Turinese driver that will be, at the end, European champion, a title that in past was of drivers of the bore of MUNARI, VERINI, CARELLO, VUDAFIERI, TONY and BIASION. A fought season, against fast antagonists, where we must note the name of the late lamented HENRY TOIVONEN, that, on board of a PORSCHE 911 RS, managed in many occasions to create difficulties for the Turinese driver, gaining also the RALLY of COSTA SMERALDA. The victory in the European championship remains for CARLO CAPONE the only true goal of the career. Since 1985, in fact, the Turinese driver don't participate any more to official contests, retiring himself quite definitively from the rally races. He must be remembered however above all for the seriousness and professionality with which he faced each contest and for the simple and frank character, qualities that only belong to the champions.

*** BACK ***

www.lanciarally037.com - All Rights Reserved