.:: Piero Liatti: from the small FIAT UNO up to the SUBARU WRC ::.

Piero Liatti was born on 7th May 1962 in Biella, place where it is possible to breathe the air of races since a long time.
He is a fast and concrete pilot, with good qualities of tester and a great reliability: in his career the withdrawals due to his mistakes are really few.
The first approach to the runs is on race cars, Monza 1981, in the Renault Cup. After having obtained some flattering result, he decides to change specialty and to pass to the rallies because, as he says: - The qualities of a driver are mostly underlined, while, on race cars, if you don't have a fast vehicle you cannot emerge. -
This way, he debuts in the occasion of the Rally della Lana in 1985, house competition, with a Fiat Uno to rental and a debutant co-driver, arriving at the 2nd place end in the Trophy, after the well known ALEX FIORIO driving the official car of the JOLLY CLUB TOTIP, immediately showing to have a "big foot".
1986 is the year of the consecration: with a Fiat Uno Trophy he manages to win the Championship, with at the shoulders two teams like QUATTRO ROMBI and JOLLY TOTIP, always without making mistakes, because to be wrong could mean to prematurely finish the season.
Quickly arrives the call of the GRIFONE, that gives him, for the following year, a new LANCIA 037 to race, first with RICCARDI and then with IMERITO, the unfortunately devalued Gr. B Italian Championship, in the last year when these formidable cars have been able to compete. Although to the debut on so powerful cars, he fits immediately to the LANCIA 037, reaching the 3rd place end during the first competition in calendar, the Rally 1000 Miles, after the well most experienced CUNICO and RAYNERI. The season continues with the Costa Smeralda, that sees him protagonist of an accident, and with the Rally of Limone Piemonte, where he arrives at the 2nd place end starting the upraising in the Championship against the favorite driver RAYNERI on board of a LANCIA 037 of the JOLLY CLUB TOTIP. At the Rally della Lanterna, first in career, arrives the absolute victory followed after short time from another 1st place at the Rally del Salento, so he momentarily conqueres the leadership in the Championship. Then, at the Rally della Lana he is forced to the withdrawal for a principle of fire on the car, due to the getting flabby of a tire, losing so precious points against his rival. The duel continues to the Piancavallo, where he arrives at the 2nd place end, but subsequently two absolute victories comes: at the Rally of Pescara at the Rally of Messina.
Championship is so decided at the Valle d'Aosta Rally, last competition in calendar: unfortunately in the first stages of the race, he breaks the accelerator cable, so spending 4 minutes to replace it and seeing himself again forced to go up again from the lowest zones of the classification; the upraising brings him to the 2nd final place; he has to leave to RAYNERI both the competition and the Italian Championship.
Although the title is vanished, he demonstrates to know how to drive both few powerful cars and rear drive "monsters", as the LANCIA 037, perfectly suiting to the rear drive style of the Turinese car without great problems and convincing LUIGI and FABRIZIO TABATON to renew the trust in him for the following years.
This year closes an epoch in rallies: the FIA in fact had already decreed the abolition of the Groups B at the end of 1986, leaving still for the year 1987 the possibility to compete only to the less powerful cars as the LANCIA 037, the Audi 4 Coupe, the Opel Manta 400, the Porsche 911. From the following years the races will be to appanage of the less performing but surer cars of Groups A.
In 1988 LIATTI disputes the European Championship of Gr.N on board of a LANCIA DELTA INTEGRALE; at the end of the year, he is winner of the title reserved to the series cars. This way in 1989 he is on board of a more performing DELTA INTEGRALE Gr.A always of the Genoese team, with the job to help the team companion YVES LOUBET in the conquest of the European Championship; besides maturing experience he also takes satisfactions from the absolute classification, so to become for the following year the main driver of GRIFONE.
In 1990 in fact he looks at the Italian Rally Championship, from many years owned by DARIO CERRATO; the season starts at the best with the absolute victories of the 1000 Miles, Targa Florio and Salento, but starting from half Championship his team begins to make a series of technical-tactical mistakes that, despite of a further victory in Messina, make him lose the title in favour to the rival of the JOLLY CLUB. In that year to LIATTI goes however the worth to have developed the VALEO electronic clutch to subsequently be adopted on the official cars of the Martin RACING: unfortunately the LANCIA withdrawal from the races at the end of 1992 didn't allowed its use in the World Championship.
In 1991, disappointed by the events of the precedent year, LIATTI decides to change his jacket, going so to race the European Championship with the Delta 16V of the A.R.T. of the ALESSANDRINI brothers; despite the serious problems with the DUNLOP tires, he wins the Rally Zlatni Piassatzi in Bulgaria, the Rally of Poland, the Deutschland Rally, the Elpa Rally and, placing himself in other 4 competitions, he conquers the european scepter in couple with TEDESCHINI.
1992 is a year of transition when the strong driver doesn't think to a precise objective; in fact, always with the Delta of the A.R.T., but this time in version HF Integrale, he wins the Rally Corte Ingles in the European Championship and debuts in the World one with a 8th place at the Tour de Corse, an excellent 2nd place in New Zealand (behind the World Champion CARLOS SAINZ) and a 8th place at the Rally di Sanremo.
In 1993 the official LANCIA withdrawal confuses the satellite teams such as GRIFONE, JOLLY and A.R.T. that are forced to change their cars to compete, so the ALESSANDRINIs make LIATTI to debut in the Italian Championship with the Subaru Legacy 4WD ex PRODRIVE, developing the car for the following year; nevertheless the driver is able to get many satisfactions, most of all at the Sanremo where he wins many stages obtaining the 4th place end.
In 1994 he goes back to the C.I.R. with the intent to win the title but, after the wonderful victory at the Costa Smeralda, he only reaches the 3rd position at the end of the Championship on the few performing Subaru Impreza of the A.R.T., developing however many tests for the PRODRIVE of David RICHARDS that, for 1995, gives him an official Impreza WRX to dispute 3 World Competitions and the whole Italian Championship. In the World Championship he concludes 8th at the Montecarlo, 6th in Corsica and 3rd at the Catalunya, serving the official drivers SAINZ and McRAE, while in the Italian one he wins Targa Florio, Messina and Sanremo, in that year valid only for the World Makes Championship, loosing however the title against FRANCO CUNICO in the last competition of Piancavallo for the breakup of drive-hub stud bolts.
He becomes official Subaru driver in 1996 when, with FERFOGLIA before and FABRIZIA PONS subsequently, he disputes the whole World Championship with good results among which we remember the 2nd place end in Indonesia and at the Catalunya, lost for only 7 seconds.
In 1997 a new scene in the world panorama: they start to race the today's World Rally Cars. LIATTI knows how to interpret at the best this kind of cars, so at the debut on the Impreza WRC he obtains the more prestigious victory of his career at the Rally of Montecarlo. In the same year he disputes the World Championship finally arriving at 5th place end, gathering the 2nd place in Catalunya, also this time after only 7 second from the winner MAKINEN, and virtually winning the Sanremo: despite the 1st end position, in fact, he is forced by precise team orders to surrender the victory to the companion McRAE, that is still able to aspire to the World Drivers Championship.
The episode gives him the renovation of the contract from the PRODRIVE for 98; nevertheless the things don't work anymore: the car is not so performing and the relationships with the Team deteriorate, inducing him to change his jacket. This way in 1999, always with PONS, he races the World Championship on board of the Seat Cordoba WRC; unfortunately the car is not appropriate and, despite the development, the results don't arrive, so that the following year he finds himself alone again.
In 2000 he races and wins the Rally della Lana and the Rally of Madeira, with the Impreza WRC of the PROCAR: the victories worth for him the call of the Ford Motorsport to dispute the final competitions of the World Championship on board of the Focus WRC. Reentered in the World Competitions, he works for 2001 with the Hyundai, racing different competitions with the new Accent WRC; despite of a good engine the car is not very competitive and the relationship with the Korean house finishes, at the end of the season, again leaving him without a valid program for the future.
PIERO LIATTI, serious and for some verses unlucky driver, picked up surely less than he sowed, always showing to be fast and reliable. Today he doesn't race any more but his talent and his innate class put him among the stronger Italian drivers. From the small FIAT UNO, up to the super technological WRC, passing through LANCIA 037, DELTA INTEGRALE and SUBARU IMPREZA, all prestigious and difficult cars but turned into toys in the experienced hands of the driver from Biella. We hope that the career of LIATTI will continue in the future, even in those roads of the Italian Championship that saw him protagonist at his debut and on which, we believe, he is still able to give us endless emotions.

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